Some Christmas Crafting

I didn’t mean to let two weeks get away from me there, but…nope, can’t blame work, can’t blame the Thanksgiving holiday–I have to blame the library book! That’s okay, I’m always happy when a book is so enjoyable it overtakes my free time. But now back on track.

The knitting has been slow lately. We had a sharp cold spell + early heavyish snow (for not being in a lake-effect zone) that reminded me that I need to finish up a scarf/cowl thing I’ve been working on forever. However, that’s all I managed to do with it–remember. I keep poking away at my les Abeilles, but it’s really been the non-knitting that’s calling to me.

SnowmanCrossStitch

I’ve had this cross-stitch snowman in progress for years. (In fact it was part of my 2013 goals to finish. Fail. Also, the 2013 picture was better.) Finally, I find myself picking it up as my current go-to. So this little snowman’s to blame for the current knitting stall. It’s been the perfect companion for the continuing ed I’ve had to finish up by the end of the year. And for TV watching. I finally feel like I’ve made some real progress and maybe I might actually finish–well not this year, but maybe in 2015. I do need that scarf though.

And then there’s the super-fun, super-easy project I did on Friday.

SnowJars

Just some empty jars, add some Epsom salt for snow and some trees and mini gifts from the local craft store. I think I spent more time in line at the store than it took to put them together! The idea isn’t mine; I saw it HERE by way of one of the book blogs I read (pity I didn’t have nice antique jars like hers to use). Now I feel like I just need a Rudolph and the scene’s complete. I don’t usually do much specifically for Christmas, but these were too fun and easy to pass up. And uh-oh, I have one other project for the holidays that I might try to get to. I won’t actually need that scarf soon will I?

On the Needles – les Abeilles

I’ve spent some of my spare moments the past week running through my head what I should post on next here, when it dawned on me, les Abeilles!

Les abeilles shawl in progress

I didn’t even manage to have a photo on my Ravelry project page until just now, and I really didn’t want this to turn into a “forgotten” project. Not that it really could be forgotten–it’s been my go-to project lately–but I do like to have at least one progress photo for each project.

Abeilles started with the yarn–some fingering weight Classic Bamboo Merino I bought from Knitting Notions a couple years ago at the local wool & fiber show. I love her bamboo merino blend (although–thanks to the bamboo content I sometimes have to be careful not to split the yarn). It has such a lovely sheen thanks to the bamboo, and unlike a 100% non-superwash merino, I can’t accidentally felt it under my hands while knitting. (A problem I sometimes have…) I only had the one skein, 490 yards, so I decided to search for a one-skein neck shawl type project. Les Abeilles is…maybe that project. It’s another Anne Hanson pattern, and she offers it in three sizes: using 275, 550, and 800 yards. I didn’t want to use the smallest size because that would leave so much leftover, so I threw caution to the wind and cast on for the 550 yard-size. Yep, I’m banking on Anne having allowed extra yardage for safety. I went down a needle size, too (and have never actually measured my gauge because…well, I never do for lace…troublemaker, that’s me). Looking at it now, I actually think I’m going to have enough yarn. And if I don’t, I’ll rip back the garter stitch section and change the decrease rate (which I accidentally did when I started that section, so…).

This has also been a well-traveled knit. A few weeks back, a group of coworkers and I had to go out for a field measuring visit to three sites in West Virginia. We spent something like 7 hours in the car (which was more drive time than we spent actually working), so I decided to take my knitting with me. Shh…don’t tell anyone, but I was paid to knit! 😉 It was either that or stare at the landscape and try not to fall asleep. I don’t think anyone minded.

I’m nearing the finish-line though, and looking over my other on-the-needles projects, it may be time to start planning the next thing. Which yarn might call to me next?

Finished, Boxleaf Shawl

Boxleaf Shawl overallBoxleaf Shawl tail detail Boxleaf Shawl join detail Boxleaf Shawl closeupPattern: Boxleaf Triangle by Anne Hanson (Ravelry)
Yarn: Brooklyn Handspun Soft Spun Plus, Colorway “Winter Wind,” (1) skeinNeedles: US5/ 3.75mm

I started this shawl back in February during the Sochi Olympics, and by the time I finally wove in the last end and remembered that I should actually block it for use, it was August. I have a problem remembering to block lace, it seems! Boxleaf proved the perfect TV knitting–not so complex that I couldn’t follow a show (or Olympic event as the case might be), but with just enough interest I didn’t get bored. I knit the “mini” size, but added one pattern repeat to maximize yarn usage. Actually the way the pattern is designed, sizing is practically irrelevant as the top edge and the body are knit at the same time and it has no special outer border–just knit as many repeats as you like. My one-skein version makes the perfect neck shawl to keep my shoulders from getting too cold on a chilly day.

Of course, now that I look this post over, I’m wondering why I didn’t get any closeups of the top edge–it’s a lovely little leaf that you can’t quite make out in my pictures. Sigh. Something to fix another day…

Easing In

DSCN0378

So. I seem to be in one of those “do things” moods that don’t necessary strike all that often, but that I try to take advantage of whenever they do happen. Especially as they usually seem to result in baked goods at the end. (Bread currently in the oven.) So far, I’ve managed not only to stir up the aforementioned bread (really simple recipie – it’s taken me longer to type this than to stir it up), mix up some hot cocoa mix for the coming weeks, take some autumnal garden photos, and finally, finally catch up on blog reading (which, since I subscribe to way too many book blogs and book bloggers tend to be wordy, can take some time). So while I was at it, I might as well finally get back to the knit blog, right? Especially since I’ve actually been knitting lately.

Although it’s been a bit busy this fall (work, mostly–there was this crazy two-week period with back-to-back deadlines–never again!), the pull of the knitting needles has been strong. I finished one project I started in the spring, I’ve passed the half-way point on another, and some non-knitting crafts have been worked on as well. There’s another forthcoming project planned, and isn’t it about time to finally finish the scarf to match my hat? (Maybe if I do that, winter won’t be quite so…wintery…this year.) And I’ve decided that I want to be more faithful not just to the knitting/crafting, but to the blog. Once weekly posts will be just right, I think. There’s a bit of a mini-backlog to talk about just now, which will fill some time, and, fingers crossed, I’ll keep up enough to always have something to share. I actually managed to take some pictures of the latest finished project today, but I think that shall wait until next week. A teaser to get myself to post?