~Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along, because I love reading as much as knitting!~
Even though it's not a Christmassy story, I picked up this book this morning because it's an Inter-Library Loan, and I'm going to have to get it back soon. I believe I first heard of it on another blog doing the Yarn Along, which brings things full circle. I love finding new titles and authors this way!
On the needles is my final Christmas project, a Turn a Square hat for a family friend. I'm using stash black wool, and a shifting grey that I found at the LYS, and hope to have it finished tomorrow, which will give me time to block it before the big day.
In other news, we've been busy, as have all of you, I'm sure, with much holiday elving. I'm forming quite a collection of photos, and will try to sit down in the next few days to share the goodness. If you celebrate it, Happy Solstice to you! We're headed tonight downtown for a family solstice celebration, and I'm really looking forward to getting the whole bunch of us out and about on this dark night.
As is usually the case, when one area of life really takes off, another has to slow down. My Christmas knitting has been moving along really well, but my reading - not so much. I finished Gwenyth's sweater (it's blocking right now, and then needs buttons), and I finished the first of Brian's socks, and just turned the heel on the second. Wow - I'm impressing myself! You can see Brian's socks above (even better, I'll have enough leftover for a second, smaller pair - matching ones for Liam, perhaps?), along with the wool Liam & I wound up this morning to knit felted clogs.
Since my school semester is winding down, I am allowing myself a bit of seasonal reading fun. I like to read "Christmas" fiction during December, and since I'm feeling so festive, figured I may as well start that, too. First up is Matchless, by Gregory Maguire. The cover says it's "an illumination of Hans Christian Andersen's classic 'The Little Match Girl'", and was apparently read on NPR a few years ago. I just picked it up today, so I can't tell you too much, although I'm very much looking forward to curling up with it in the evenings to come. Do you like to read holiday themed stories? What are some of your favourites?
I know it's trite to say that time flies, but I literally have trouble believing that my sweet baby Katie just turned fourteen. Fourteen!! It seems so big, so grown up, so mature, so scary. And I suppose she is all of those things, actually.
The first one to volunteer to help me shovel the snow, the one who is my right hand in our house, with the kids, with life.... is growing up. It's hard to believe in a few more short years she will be heading off to college, taking on the world as an adult. It makes me a tad teary to think about it, but is also makes my heart swell with pride. I'm happy to say that now, at fourteen, come what may, I genuinely like my teenager - which I know is a huge blessing in itself, one not every parent has at this particular moment.
~ Joining in with Ginny at Small Things, who loves to read & loves to knit~
I am trying to be very disciplined and only work on Christmas presents until they're done - I don't want to be frantically clutching my needles on Christmas Eve, desperately finishing one last thing...
After finishing the first sleeve of this sweater, I decided I was unhappy with the short rows I had worked, and not thrilled with the fullness of the sleeve itself. I ripped it all back, and am reworking, with one less set of short rows in each repeat. I also read up on the technique over at TECHknitting, and am much happier about it this time around. Hopefully it will continue to move along quickly... there are more gifts to make!
The book I'm reading is The Winter of our Disconnect - the story of a mom & her three kids, who completely unplugged for 6 months. I'm just getting into it, but am fascinated by the idea, and the process the family is going through as they adjust to no power. Can you imagine - no power at all? I can't even get the family to agree to no cable TV!
Since I seem to be on a roll with the hats, I figured I'd knit one for my newest little nephew. Stuart's younger sister, Judith, has just had her first baby, a sweet little boy (that is, I'm assuming he's sweet, he's so fresh we haven't even seen pictures yet, and I'm not sure of the absolutely final name... but he's got the same blood as Stuart, who has made some fabulous looking babies, so I'm going with it).
Judith is allergic to wool, so I went looking for other options, and came up with this lone ball of Patons Silk Bamboo. The hat is on it's way east now, and I have high hopes of some pictures, once it arrives.
As much as I love taking pictures, every now and then I get so caught up in the moment that I completely forget to pick up the camera. Halloween night was one of those times; I was so busy adjusting wigs, setting out pumpkins, finding props & chasing Liam that capturing it all for posterity went right out the window. Fortunately, a friend saved the day by grabbing a shot of the brood while begging for candy.
We have here, then, a halo-less angel, a fearsome pirate, a pink-haired Little Mermaid, and a brave astronaut. Even the astronaut lasted the better part of an hour going from house to house, and then we went home to enjoy hot chocolate, while the big ones went back out for more (and more, and more...). There are carefully labeled bags of candy tucked into the pantry, and Halloween is over for another year. I wonder who will venture out with me next autumn?
It's only taken us seven years to get organized, but a couple of weeks ago, we rounded everyone up and headed off to the park with Stuart's camera and tripod. 300+ shots later, here are my favourites, although I'm still trying to decide which one to get printed and framed. Opinions, anyone?
Can you see the owls? I confess, I'm not sure this was the best yarn for this particular pattern, as the marled yarn kind of hides the stitch definition, obscuring the cabled "owls" a bit. Also, I'm a little distracted by that grumpy face... it needs to be kissed. A little chasing around, and his smile came out, though.
Notes: Although there is a child version of this pattern, I used the adult size with aran weight yarn, and ended up with a hat to fit Liam. I didn't really plan on using this yarn, but Mr. Particular had a specific plan in mind, and I just went with it. I scrounged the eight smallest pairs of buttons from my thrifty button jar for the eyes, but would have used smaller ones, if I had them. Some of those eyes are a little big.
Liam is holding true to his strong preferences, and I've discovered that if I care about him liking something, and wanting to use it, I will let go of my own very particular plan, and instead focus on creating something, with love, for him. Sigh... growing up can be tough, but I'm learning as I go. So, here is his blue owl hat, just the way he likes it.
I've been inspired by the fall leaves and crisp morning air to start making my holiday plans. Here's what I'm thinking...
Using that fabulous green/pink yarn (from the amazing Ruth), I want to make Gwenyth a Radiant cardigan.
Legwarmers for Katie, using the Silk Garden and striped with the black wool; if I have enough leftover from that, I'd like to knit a Turn a Square hat for a good friend.
A secret project, already underway, for my lovely (blogless) girlfriend.
A simple pair of socks, with the Dancing shown above, for Brian, who never seems to have enough socks for his big feet.
A kneewarmer for Stuart, who has a hurting knee some days. Poor old guy.
Using the felt I bought last year, but didn't have time to use, a set of felt fish for Liam (with a dowel fishing rod.
The best part is that all of this yarn is in the stash already, so I am ready to get started, and I'll be making room in my yarn dresser. You know, when I read that list over, it doesn't seem that crazy... lets see what the next two months hold! What plans are you making?