2010 has clearly started out with a blogging deficit on my part. Ten days into the new year before there's a blog post. That's just sad. By looking at my WIP list in the sidebar, you might be led to think I've been so busy knitting that I have no time to blog. That would be wrong, but I'll explain the much-pared-down WIP list a little later in the post. In the mean time, let's catch up, shall we?
First, there is snow. Lots of it.
Mind you, I am not complaining. I love winter weather. I love being snowed in. I don't even mind driving in it, as long as it isn't icy. And it looks so very, very pretty!
And the birds don't seem to mind it either, especially if I keep the feeders full. This female cardinal was pleased to pose for me, while her bright red boyfriend continues to elude me. As God is my witness, some day I will get the photo I've wanted forever: a red cardinal in a snowy background. I will.
And Muffin LOVES the snow! Oh my gosh, she jumps around and frolics and buries her whole head in it. It's so amusing to watch. She does these very balletic leaps and jumps over the large piles of snow to get to her favorite potty spot. The fact that it is now above the level of her tummy doesn't seem to deter her, nor has the fact that we got her groomed as week and she is no longer furry like this. She just loves being out in it.
And of course the kids are loving it! My grandson is up visiting from North Carolina for a while too, and he's thrilled to have lots of snow to play in, as you just don't get that in coastal NC.
Onto warmer topics, such as knitting! I thought I'd share a few Christmas knits with you now that the recipients have them. For Angela (but modeled here by Emma) there were mitts:
and a matching scarf:
Both were made from Lorna's Laces Worsted...sorry, I don't remember the colorway, but I got both the mitt pair and the scarf (narrow though it be...about 3" wide) out of one skein. The mitts are my Fast & Easy Fingerless Mitts pattern, though I did them in the round. (I've rewritten the pattern for circular knitting...hopefully I'll get it edited and added to the blog soon.) The scarf was from the Dec. 18th page of Yarn Harlot's 2009 Never Not Knitting Page-a-Day calendar...just a simple garter stitch scarf, worked lengthwise.
The scarf pattern was so fast and fun that I opted to do it again for my niece, this time out of some purple Malabrigo worsted, which picked up the accents in her hair perfectly! :)
Being on top of my game this year, I started a birthday gift for my mother-in-law before the day of her birthday (early January birthdays always creep up on me and smack me in the back of the head). We haven't celebrated with her yet, but at least her gift is done!
This is the Chevron Scarf pattern from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (Rav link) done in Three Irish Girls Kells Sport Merino (colors are Lagoon and Arboretum, from the Pick of the Knitter yarn club).
A couple things about this scarf. First, to me, chevron is not the same as feather and fan, and this clearly is a feather and fan design. Chevron patterns have more definite points to them, such as the V-shaped insignia from which its name is derived, I assume. (Here's a baby blanket I did a couple of years ago in a chevron pattern.) The fact that I feel this pattern is misnamed bugs me far more than it should. I need to get over it. That aside, my second comment about this scarf in its feather and fan pattern is that, while I love how it looks (though I'd have liked a true chevron better!), I can only knit it for so long before I want to die of boredom. Thankfully, the awesome colors of this yarn carried me through the first two-thirds of this scarf. After that, it was simply willpower and the knowledge that the scarf had to be longer than three feet to be useful that got me to the end.
Finally, on Friday night, I deemed the scarf long enough because I just could not bear to knit on it one more inch. Thankfully, it was quite long enough at that point, and blocking gave it a few extra inches as well. Whew! With that out of the way, I decided to challenge myself with a new project. (I know, I know...what about all those WIPs??? Hang on, I'll explain in a minute!)
Part of The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling fun is all of the activities we do on the SF Rav list in the months leading up to Fling. Among them, monthly KALs. This month, it is an Anne Hanson KAL. My initial thought was to try and finish my languishing Caricia shawl (which never got much bigger than it is in that picture) and just not have it count toward a prize for the actual KAL. At least it would be done. But no. Why do something that makes sense when you can do something crazy instead? To that end, I pulled out my Wing-o-the-Moth pattern -- which, to this point, has intimidated me to no end! -- and I wound up the ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud yarn (ivory) that I'd just purchased from TLE last week (like I need more yarn, yeah, I know) and cast on:
Silk Cloud is a 60% mohair, 40% silk yarn, similar to Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It is fabulously soft and has a lovely halo and subtle shine to it. Because of the mohair, though, it is a bitch to rip. So we must ask ourselves: was this a good yarn choice for Lisa's first ever lace-weight lace project? Heh. Remains to be seen.
Wing-o-the-Moth is written for both a full-sized shawl and a mini-shawl or scarf. My original plan was to do the scarf, as I didn't have enough yarn for the whole shawl and didn't want to buy more, and also because I have a dismal record of actually completing full-sized shawls (I reference the long-languishing Caricia again). However, I did have more yarn (by about half) than what the scarf called for, so I'm doing something in between the two. A large scarf. So, instead of doing two repeats of Chart A as the scarf pattern calls for, I did five. And then I realized that I was going to have to do some crazy calculating and modifying of the pattern to get Chart B to work out, since it was set up to work off of two or fifteen repeats of the first chart, not any random number some nutty knitter chose.
Yeah. Following patterns as written is for sissies. ;)
I think I have it figured out now, though, so I am hopeful it will work. I intend to spend my afternoon today finding out. Cross your fingers for me, 'kay?
Oh! About the WIP list...yeah, I decided to move most of my WIPs to hibernating status for two reasons. One, having that many WIPs was starting to make me nervous, like they were creeping up behind me and breathing down my neck. Changing their Rav status doesn't change the fact that they are still WIPs, but it does make me feel less stressed, and that is good. Two, I'm going to participate in the Ravelympics next month, and my plan is to do the UFO event. To do that, WIPs need to be in hibernation for at least a month prior to be considered UFOs, or so I understand it. Thus, I hibernated everything I wasn't planning to actively work on between now and then and I can make them active again as needed or use them for Ravelympics, whichever comes first.