To Finish Off the Year

It’s been ages ago now (and perhaps seems even longer), but this summer I participated in the Summer ’11 edition of Seasons of Lace. It was fun to knit lace along with others, even if I still haven’t finished Rock Island from the KAL. (Soon, I hope!) But that was summer, and this is winter, so I was very surprised a couple weeks ago to receive an e-mail that I had won yarn in the Resurrection Lace Raffle! Just before Christmas I received this little beauty, a skein of Twisted Fiber Art yarn, Muse base (wool-silk), Warlock colorway, generously donated by Cathy Cate of Hither and Yarn.

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Thank you Cathy! Now I just need to decide what to do with it…

In other knitting news, I successfully finished a pair of Hot Waffles Knits for my brother for Christmas. I didn’t get any pictures, but this:

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is what they look like. Yes, they are exactly the same as my Dad’s Mitts. I think my brother likes them; I know he’s been wearing them already. So that was a success.

Not so successful:

Two of at least three short sections from the middle of my ball of Cascade 220 Superwash. They were only holding on by a single ply, which meant more ends to weave in. It looks like maybe the yarn snagged on a piece of equipment or something. I’ve never had this happen in commercial yarn before (although I have knit with yarn from mom & pop companies that’s been broken and knotted). I’m not overfond of weaving in ends, and in black it’s just torture. So I wasn’t too happy by that, but I bought the yarn so long ago, that there’s nothing I can do about it. (And none of the other balls I bought from the same dye lot had that problem. Weird.)

There is one thing I can do–I swear, no more knitting anything in black that requires seaming or weaving in of multiple ends. I mean it this time!

Merry Christmas!

I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy.

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Attributed to Fra Giovanni
A.D. 1513

First Snow

You can probably tell I’m from the northern US if I say that it doesn’t feel like it can possibly be time for Christmas if we haven’t had any snow yet. Granted, we don’t usually have an actual “White Christmas,” but there’s usually been at least a little snowfall in the weeks leading up to December 25th.

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But this year we’ve seen nothing. Further west, further north, further east (even further south) they’ve had snow, but not us. Not until today. Now it finally feels like the holiday season!

Of course, to be fair, I’m not really ready for cold snowy weather this year. So it’s been fortunate that there’s been a delay. My gloves finally wore out on me at the end of last season, and the coat I bought last year desperately needs a hat to go with it. I mentioned previously that I was going to knit up a complete winter set, but so far, this is all the further I’ve gotten:

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I guess it’s good that it’s a cold snowy day—the perfect excuse to curl up in a comfy chair and knit!

Finished: Swan Lake

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This is a project that seems plagued by languishing. Started in 2007, then left alone for two years before a frogging and restarting, making it further the second time before being left alone again. I finally picked it up again this summer and made great progress, finally finishing in early October. At which time it was forced to wait over a month before I was able to block it. Once blocked, I was thoroughly stumped by how to photograph it. Every stole I’ve knit before is symmetrical, which I find much easier to take pictures of: you only really need to worry about one half. This, not so much.

Of course, I finally worked out how to get some pictures and then I proceeded to let them sit on my camera for a week. It’s looking like my New Year’s resolution will need to be “get things finished in a timely manner”!

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Pattern: Swan Lake by Melanie Gibbons
Yarn: The Alpaca Yarn Co. Suri Elegance
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) for the body and US 0 (2 mm) for the “wing”
Modifications: none

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This was my first (and only, so far) beaded knit. You can just make them out in the following picture. I’m still on the fence as to whether I like beads in my knitting, but I didn’t have any trouble adding them here. I have no idea what beads I used; they were some I picked up at the local craft store.

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Overall, I’m very happy with this project. (And happy to have such a long-standing WIP finished!)

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