A Christmastime Adventure

First things first – I finished the shawl on time and my mom loves it!  She was absolutely astonished that I would do such a thing…so I may have unintentionally created a standard for myself which I will never again be able to match.  Opps.   I was able to catch some shoots in uncharacteristic NE Ohio December sunshine:

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Pattern: Wing-‘o-the-Moth (Anne Hanson)
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Color 588
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm)
Modifications: None, although I did add extra yo’s in the bind-off to make a stretchier edge.
More pictures are on Ravelry.

Now, I believe I promised to share a recent Christmastime Adventure.  Every year, for as long as I can remember, my mom selects some Christmas outing or performance to attend.  We’ve been to see Christmas lights, historic homes decorated for the Holidays, and performances of the Christmas Carol and the Nutcracker.  Of course, over the years it has become hard to find something we haven’t done before.  This year, however, my mom and I were able to find something completely different – Dickens’ Victorian Village.

Apparently about two years ago, some residents of Cambridge, Ohio came up with the idea to turn the downtown into a showcase of Victorian-era scenes, inspired by the works of Charles Dickens.  Over the years, artisans have created dozens of figures and placed them on display over the Holidays.  This year there was also a light display at the county courthouse (in the middle of downtown).  It was a really neat display, if a bit cold (and windy!), and I thought I’d share some of my favorite scenes.

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The Knitter

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Scrooge and Marley

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The Sled Maker

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The Apple Seller

I hope you and yours have all had a wonderful Christmas season and continue to a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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a little Christmas knits

I’ve not been one to do the whole “deadline” knitting thing, i.e. birthday or Christmas (or holiday of choice) knitting. That would be primarily because I’m a terrible procrastinator. This served me well through school (term papers, cramming for tests) but doesn’t work so well with knitting. No matter how you slice it, unless it’s a bulky hat on jumbo needles, knitting takes more time than the few hours available to the last-minute crafter. However, in the middle of October, I decided that the perfect thing for my mom for Christmas would be a knitted lace shawl. Given my typical aversion to such deadline knitting, I clearly was temporarily delusional, likely due to excessive studying. I even had a fleeting thought that I could have this shawl finished by Thanksgiving. Ahem.

I did know right away that I wanted to use Kidsilk Haze, so I made my way to the yarn store, and bought enough for a typical lace shawl. The major question was to be which lace shawl. I spent about a week debating triangular vs. rectangular, before settling on triangular and then several more evenings browsing Ravelry before finally choosing to go with my first thought: a Wing-‘o-the-Moth. Moth was my first big lace project, and I knew that it would be doable in the time I had.

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This is the second start. The first was much too open – even for lace. There was also a third (in fact, I don’t think I’ve frogged it yet), which was tighter than this. The third was closer to my shawl in overall size, but the pattern was harder to read. Also, a bit distressingly, apparently I’m an even looser knitter. My first moth was on US 3’s (3.25 mm). This is on US 2’s (2.75 mm). I’m beginning to worry that at the rate I’m going, I’ll be knitting bulky knits on 2’s within a year!

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I will admit, I’m probably not as far as I should be. I’m in a happy state of denial. Or I was before I looked at the calendar today!  It’s looking like a marathon knitting weekend is coming up…

finished!

my first major lace project: complete! wing-o-the-moth in gedifra easy soft. i started, if my memory serves me correctly, at the end of march and finished (including the blocking) may 27th. which for me is not too bad…

a considerate chair, modeling

corner detail

now on to the next project! (i’m avoiding a certain sweater…) – learning how to knit socks! i seem to have skipped the whole sock knitting bit and gone straight to lacy shawls, but i’ve decided i need to go back and fix that. i need portable projects. so, i made a trip to my lys, and bought a pretty blue sock yarn (color #720, sweep you off your feet) of wool, soysilk, cotton and chitin. i had never heard of chitin, but the idea of knitting with a fiber containing shrimp and crab shells was too much to pass up. now if only i can figure out how to make these sock things…

knitting time…at last


this is the first week night in well over a week i’ve been at home. and able to watch the evening news–which is prime knitting time. needless to say, i havn’t been getting too much knitting done. (or too much of anything else for that matter.) however, i am only 3 rows away from starting the corona edging on the wing-‘o-the-moth shawl.

of course, a shortage of time didn’t stop me from flitting to another project: ‘diamond cable jacket’ from the dec. 2006 issue of knit ‘n style. i’m nearing the finish line for the shawl, so it’s only logical i push it aside to work on something else. of course, this something else happens to be a sweater i pushed aside in favor of the shawl. i guess i’m being fair… anyway, i decided to cast on yesterday during lunch. i typically stay at work for lunch and it was so nice yesterday, i decided to eat (and knit) outside at the office picnic table. things could have gone better. i’m sitting there, merrily knitting away, my cup of water holding down my pattern, when the wind gusts and i’m suddenly sitting there, pattern and myself drenched and yarn ball making a get-away across the grass. i was not amused.
hopefully that is not a sign of things to come. this is the second time i’ve started the back. i frogged the first attempt after knitting 2 pattern repeats when it came out too wide – despite using the exact same needle i used for the fronts – which came in at the right size. actually, to be more accurate, the left front was just slightly too narrow! i think i may be having a liiiitle gauge problem. a wandering one, apparently.

time flies…


i can’t believe how fast may is flying already – and how little i’ve gotten done. it’s become a bit crazy; i rarely have to go out in the evening but both last week and then again this week i have work-related meetings after business hours. on top of that, there’s a lecture series at church that i’ve decided to attend, which fills up another 8 evenings if i go to every one. and then by the time that’s all done i’ll get to go on vacation…and i think my worries that i would be done with wing-o-the-moth by vacation time are now vanished. i am past row 20 of 40 of the twin leaf chart, but there’s still the edging after that, and without my evenings to knit.

i had a near disaster last night – i accidentally knocked over my cherry coke onto everywhere…including the shawl! we blotted, we soaked, and i think it’s ok. but still damp. which of course precludes working on it at the moment.
of course, my other obsession at the moment is my new digital camera. i keep popping into my mom’s garden, hoping to find something new. and when i’m finished i look at the count and realize i just took 20 pictures of the same two tulips! way too much fun. of course, i also subscribe to the philosophy that the more pictures one takes, the more likely there will be at least some good pictures.

wait, which language am i reading?

i just saw the following headline on msn.com: “OMG! 13yo wins 25k txting,” and i swear, i was trying to figure out what 13 yarn overs had to do with anything. obviously, text messaging abbreviations do not mesh well with knitting!

fortunately, knitting abbreviations in their appropriate sphere are not a problem–the wing-‘o-the-moth shawl seems to be coming along well. (cue disaster music. a statement like that begs for it.)

i’ve made it past the fir cone pattern and onto the twin leaf pattern. the good: the wrong side rows aren’t all pearl, which adds interest for the knitter. the bad: K3togTBL. i’ve already managed to turn that into K2togTBL once. however, i think it’s starting to look right. maybe. i only have 6 rows done, so correct could turn into…umm…very wrong. after all, i have no memory of completing that sixth row. i vaguely remember working on it at the midpoint. but the beginning is very foggy and the end non-existent. yet row 6 is clearly finished. clearly, some memory strengthening exercises are in order…