Sunday, December 28, 2008

All is least for the moment

It's late Sunday morning. My parents just pulled out of the driveway. Zack is reading his biology homework. Sophie is outside doing whatever dogs do. The house is quiet. No TV. No xBox. Just quiet.

Now Sophie is barking and done doing what dogs do outside. The silent spell is broken. It didn't last long, but I enjoyed every second of it.

Referring back to my last post from mid-December, I did indeed get the cold that my co-worker so graciously shared with everyone in the department. That put a bit of a damper on my Christmas preparations. I didn't get as much baking done as I had planned, but the Christmas knitting made it out the door in time to get shipped to Michigan.

In the end I turned out two batches of fudge, two batches of cranberry pistachio biscotti, 19 Christmas cards, 2 packages to Michigan, 2 hand knit (1 was hand spun) hats, a set of hand knit and fulled coasters, and two skeins of hand spun yarn. Also figure in 3 Saturdays of Christmas shopping and a weekend of cleaning. Don't forget to add the 14 strings of Christmas lights on the bushes, 4 lengths of red tinsel garland on the pillars, 8 wreaths outside and 2 inside. Plus 2 Christmas trees, 24 feet of garland, 3 big red bows and a basket of fresh cut holly and magnolia boughs. That adds up to wow!

A word of advice--don't try to figure out what bulb isn't working on the string of Christmas lights because the odds of having a replacement bulb that will fit that string are less than .01%. Throw the damn lights away. In the trash. In the outside trash. Go buy new lights. I had a brief moment of doubt when I opened up the trash can to pitch another bag of garbage. Look at all those lights. What a waste. Surely I can figure out which bulbs aren't working and salvage the whole lot. No! NO! I tossed in the bag of trash and closed the lid. What a rush! I am free!

On to the good stuff!

The Marsan Watchcap for Steve (grudgingly modeled by Zack). Yarn was handspun about a year ago. I love the decreases for this pattern. One could probably knit this hat in a weekend. I used a thinner yarn and made the large size. Zack's head is about 23 inches and this fit perfectly. The nice thing about the twisted rib pattern is that it's stretchy yet holds it's shape very well. I also knit it about an inch longer in order to get a more generous cuff.

The earflap hat knit for Drew. I really don't have one specific pattern for this hat. The pattern is loosely based on Swell from I made quite a few modifications and added a great 10- stitch color pattern that I found online. The yarn is handspun shetland with a bit of alpaca. I partially lined the hat with a light weight polar fleece. It's a killer hat!

Felted coasters for Amy from the free pattern section on Berroco's website. I used Paton's SWS yarn and started each coaster from a different section of the colorway. Each coaster is different but they all match. The SWS felts like a dream (in a top loading washing machine...don't attempt in a front load, bad words will be spoken.) Berroco has this pattern labeled as intermediate but I thought they were fairly easy. However, I wouldn't suggest trying these unless you have knit with DPNs. You knit from the outside and work in. Handling all those stitches and markers on DPNs is a bit tricky.

So, what's next? I'm in a scarf exchange on Facebook and the deadline is January 15th. I have to finish Joann's annual mini sock. It's basically done, but I need to add the snowflakes. I'm working on Fetching wrist warmers for Amy's birthday. I'm making them out of Plymouth Encore to match the hat and scarf my sister made for her. Then I'm going to knit something for moi. (Maybe I can use my new sock blockers!!!)

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