Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fasten your seatbelts

Christmas was a resounding success. Most importantly, DD had an insane amount of fun, was extremely well behaved, was very appreciative of all her gifts, and yet managed to calm down enough to have a nap on both the 24th and 25th, so she is not overtired today. I'm very impressed with her.

As promised, my MIL did ease up on the Christmas generosity this year (yay), but of course that doesn't mean she forgot about my favourite hobby:

We have here Total Baby Knits by Candi Jensen, three 100-gram balls of sock yarn (one of which, as you can see, has already been pressed into service), 4.25mm Knit Lite needles, the Knitting Pattern-a-Day : 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar, and - ahem, drum roll please - a set of Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles.

I am one happy knitter, lemme tell ya.

My favourite things are the sock yarn and the Denise Interchangeables. I've made a LOT of socks this year, and, prior to Christmas, I was only one pair away from using up my entire sock yarn stash, and I wasn't happy about that. I was starting to wander around Yarn Forward's website to see what sock yarn I could order on the cheap. Fortunately, I held off ordering anything, and - tadah! - sock yarn for Christmas. There's a skein of Sockotta from Plymouth Yarn (colour #5618 with "bold stripe effect"), and two skeins of Supersocke 100 from On Line Yarn (colours #741 and #745) - all self-patterning. Happy, happy me. The Denise Interchangeables, I think, speak for themselves. I am going to have to print off a US-to-mm conversion chart to stick in with the kit along with a safety pin to help with assembly and dis-assembly, but other than that, it seems to have everything I could possibly need to knit circularly from 3.75mm to 10mm. Love it!

But enough about me. Because, once again, I was not the only person in my household doing Christmas knitting this year, as I discovered on the Big Day. DH stayed up until 3am the night before doing this for our daughter:

Here we have further evidence of just how rockin' my husband is. Remember, this is only about his fourth project. He did a simple textured checkerboard pattern using purls and knits, which he MADE UP HIMSELF. (The fact that this texture pattern is just about as old as dirt does not in any way diminish how impressed I am - he came up with it on his own, without help.) Now, one of the conditions of being allowed to blog about this and show it to you was that I emphasize to you all that it's NOT FINISHED. He still wants to do fringe on the ends. He has also pointed out that his gauge at the beginning was much looser than it got a little further on, which explains why it is a little wider than perhaps it should be at one end...

Please. Watch me so not care.

This scarf was also a good learning experience for DH because he now knows that stocking stitch curls. He was hoping to block it out flat (yeah, right - not only is it stocking stitch, but the yarn is acrylic - blocking is totally not going to help here). However, I think the fringing is going to help with the curling on the ends, and the curling on the sides creates a 'ridge' effect, which I think makes the scarf look very nice.

I would also like to brag mention here that of the four projects my husband has done so far, only one of them was based on any kind of pattern. The rest of them he has completely made up himself. I am stunned at his fearlessness. And he said something very interesting today about that - he said that the nice thing about working from your own pattern is that you know better what it is that you're doing. With somebody else's pattern, there's more uncertainty.

Please feel free to join me in praising his knitterliness. He still doesn't think what he does is anything to write home about.

Anyway, so on to the projects...

Dress socks for DH
I have decided to forget about making socks for DH's boss this past summer. As grateful as I am for everything he did for my husband, the proper time to give him a gift was during the summer, when DH was working for him, or immediately after that. Unfortunately, what with the anti-knitting stint I went through in my first trimester, plus some knitting panic associated with unchangeable deadlines (i.e. imminent births of babies who don't keep hanging around in the womb indefinitely just because you haven't finished their knitting), and then a focus on the Christmas knitting, this project never got very far off the ground. Therefore, I decided to use the yarn for socks for DH instead. Wednesday night at the Lettuce Knit SnB, I got started, did a bit of work on Thursday, and have been snatching moments since then to increase my progress (tough with DH hanging around). Here's where I am so far:

You can't tell because the sock is black, but I've continued the ribbing from the leg down the top of the foot. The heel and sole are in plain stocking stitch.

I'm hoping to get the pair done before midnight on the 31st so that I can have one last kick at the can for 200Sox.

Stornaway sweater for DH
All the sewing-in of ends was completed at the SnB on Wednesday night. On Thursday night I went over to my parents' place, and washed and blocked it. I was going to pick it up on Saturday, but my mom was doing errands in my part of town that afternoon and dropped it off for me, bless her heart. DH LOVED it. It makes him very, very happy. :) I haven't had a chance yet to take a picture of him actually wearing the sweater, but stay tuned. In the meantime, I do have some completed pictures. Unfortunately, the darkness of the green means that it's really, really tough to get a decent shot of the sweater with my camcorder's rather pathetic still-picture quality, so please bear with me.


Detail of patterns

Detail of shoulder strap extending into the sleeve (I love that)

Twizzle cardigan and hat for DD
With all the Christmas knitting done, and the 2007 Schedule not yet in play, I found myself with a lot of freedom as to what to knit over the holidays. So I started back in on this. By the time we got to my MIL's at lunchtime on Christmas Eve, the entire cardigan was done except for weaving in the ends left over from sewing on the buttons. By the time DD woke up from her nap, that was done, too, and I'd started on the hat. Thanks to the miracle of continental knitting, that was also completed by the time I went to bed. DD woke up on Christmas morning to a totally finished hat-and-cardi set. She LOVES it. (It matches her new Dora backpack that she got from daycare - she could not possibly be more stylish, I tell ya.) I don't yet have a picture of her in the get-up, but they'll come.

Completed set



A Very Harlot Poncho for moi
After all the Twizzle stuff for DD was finished, I got a little bit of time over Christmas to do a few rows on this.

Garden Shawl for MIL
Big hit. Big. No tears, but huge appreciation. My BIL Brian was also extremely impressed and gave me some very nice compliments on my knitting. My knitterly soul is well-pleased. :)

Foot-pampering socks for DD
I've got a fair bit of Austermann Step yarn leftover from my mom's Christmas present, so I'm going to use it up by making socks for my kid. Hopefully there's enough left.

Self-patterning socks #3 for DH
I couldn't resist - I had to cast these on. So far, I've done this:

I'm pretty sure DH thinks they're for me. I've been doing some low-key non-lies to throw him off the trail.

Self-patterning socks for Mom
The Sockotta yarn I got for Christmas has a significant amount of cotton content, which means it would probably work quite well for my mom's sensitive skin. Plus, I think she'd dig the colours. It's going to be a bit of a wrench, giving her these socks, because I really love the colourway - green and purple and turquoisy-blue with little white bits. Sigh. But my mom would benefit most from the cotton content, so I'm just going to have to suck it up.

Self-patterning socks #2 for moi
Well, I got three balls of sock yarn for Christmas, and I've already decided that two of them will make gifts for other people, so I should really keep the third one for myself. I've no idea when I'm going to get around to making them, but the yarn is definitely reserved for me.

There. That's how my Christmas went, knitting-wise. If you've actually read this far, I commend you for your endurance! There will probably be more Christmasness to talk about after the gift exchange at my parents' place this week (reactions to socks, if nothing else), but for now I think I'm going to take a little break and get back to knitting. I hope you too are enjoying the season - all my best to you and your families.

1 comment:

Carrie K said...

Oh cool! You did finish my, er, I mean DH's sweater! It looks fabulous.

And so does that sweater and hat set, although it's not only fabulous but adorable.

Nice gifts from your MIL!

I think DH has the best idea on knitting. It's the one way to really learn as you go.