Happy Holidays!

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Let me start with my “tree”. Here is my cat for perspective. No, my cat is not 5′ tall, the “tree” is 15″ tall, including the pot. I am a minimalist when it comes to decorating although our Xmas lights stay up all year long (yes, we are one of THOSE kinds of people) – albeit inside the house.

I had a lovely 3 weeks in Cape Cod with the grandkids, if you don’t count the bout of norovirus we all had and then a cold that lasted for 3 weeks! The robot sweaters were a hit. And they fit, too well, so I immediately added length everywhere and will no longer trust my daughter’s measurements.

Grandson #1 has room to grow (after I added some to the bottom and the sleeves), grandson #2 does not (even after I added to the bottom and the sleeves).

My daughter’s shrug turned out very nicely (8-ply supersock in Cobalt & Rust). She wears it a lot. Here they are waiting for Santa.

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In between holding this little guy,

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who was very sick with a cold and needed a lot of holding, to the point where I almost lost the use of my arms (who knew I should have been lifting weights in preparation for my Cape Cod stay), I did manage to make these:

a11.jpg The hat is called Deep Woods Toque, an Interweave pattern. I used a new yarn which we might carry, an organic 2 ply merino in Moroccan Spice. The gold is some leftover merino/silk and the green is some leftover sock yarn. I had enough to make a double knit cowl, so cast-on! I wish I had made it bit narrower, so I have since added a fold and sewed a button on it so that the cowl actually stays up on my neck for warmth and not just for fashion.

Here is the inside of the hat, I again used invisible stranding since there are large sections between the trees and I didn’t want the gold poking out. Can’t emphasize enough how much I love this technique. It does work best with wool, I think. I used it on the robot sweaters, but they were acrylic and it still shows to a certain extent. The stitches just don’t bounce back as nicely as they do with wool when you create that extra purl stitch between the knit ones.

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In other news. I am almost finished my son’s sweater. It is for Christmas, but luckily we decided to celebrate with him when he gets back from visiting his sis down in Cape Cod for the holidays. One sleeve to go! and then a shawl collar! and then a backing for the button band and finding buttons! But I will be done before he returns! It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t monogamous in my knitting (although cheating on your main project does help keep you from getting repetitive strain problems in your wrists etc – at least that’s my story).

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I knit up a hat with the new bulky yarn we are carrying. This is in Hell’s Kitchen and the pattern is Fidra. Super quick knit and a lovely soft 2-ply yarn. The pom pom was made from two fingering minis although I think I had enough yarn left from the hat to make one. I will knit a swatch with the rest instead.

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AND, I sneaked this in:

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This fantastic pattern is from Natalie Servant, Cosmic Dust. I took a beading course with Natalie this fall and fell in love with this pattern. I chose colours that would match my rain coat.

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The yarn is Shirley Brian yarns, a cotton gradient. It was really fun pattern to knit and I highly recommend it. You cut the yarn at each colour change and string on the beads, it is not nearly as tedious as it sounds and goes quite quickly. Even weaving in the ends was pretty quick. I saved a bit of the cotton in the various shades and sewed down the ends where I weaved them in so they wouldn’t come out.

After I finish the cardigan-that-never-seems-to-end, I will get back to these socks for the hubby. He does love hand-knit socks and wears them so much that he wears through them. For this pair I am holding some reinforcement yarn with the sock yarn for the heel and when I turn the heel. We’ll see how that holds up.

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I splurged a bit this month and went to an open house at my friend Maureen’s studio, and bought myself some cups. The blue ones are by David, her husband, and have impressions that make your hand fit right around the cup and the ones on the right are Maureen’s. Guess why I just had to buy that brown one, haha.

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I hope you all have happy holidays, whatever you might be celebrating (or not) and will try to blog more often in the new year. I will leave you with Frankie relaxing in my knitting chair (until I kicked him out that is).

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Heartattack and whine

No, I am not misquoting the Tom Waits song. Heartattack would be me, and whine, the neighbour’s dog. It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve. My son was over, we were getting dinner ready, Frankie was out in the yard with the neighbour’s dog playing and I look out the window and see this:

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in the neighbour’s dog’s mouth with Frankie trying to grab it away from him. My Sheep Heid hat! I don’t have a picture of the actual deed because I was having a heart attack and you never saw anyone run so fast, in clogs in deep snow. When I got to the dog I realized I should have grabbed a treat, not to reward the little f&*%er but to make an exchange. Too late. I grabbed him by the jaw, kept repeating “let go” as sternly and intimidatingly as possible as I was prying his jaw open and was even thinking, if I have to bite him on the snout I will. And he let go. It was a relief not to have to carry out a dog massacre on Christmas Eve.

In happier news, the sweater I knit for my son actually fit him! Will miracles never cease!

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And I knit my hubby this hat. Not modeled by him, but you get the idea.

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I lined it a day later since he found it a bit itchy. I have a high threshold for itch, and more hair 😉   It was my own design. I used some fair isle patterns from an Alice Starmore book and the leftover yarn from my Scatness Tam. I still have tons of yarn left for more hats. This knit up so quickly, I’m already thinking… presents for next Christmas….

Hope you all have a stress-free New Year’s celebration. Won’t be having any dogs over to my house for playtime…

2012_12240007Frankie’s just sick about the whole thing.

 

And Merry Christmas to everybody else

Just a quick post before Christmas… today is a baking day, enough so my son can take some home with him. But enough of that, here’s some knitting!

Colours of Shetland arrived on the 14th!!

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And I had this knit up by the 16th!! (I used Jamieson & Smith for the hat, which, with much forethought, I ordered in anticipation of the book.)

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And I started the matching tunic:

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I am using KnitPicks Palette for the tunic, I would love to use Jamieson & Smith, but should use my stash rather than spend more $$.

This is a fantastic book, I will probably knit every single pattern in it. However, over the holidays I will design and knit a toque for hubby from the remaining yarn from my hat, maybe with a stranded pattern a tad more masculine than flowers?

I also finished my Christmas knitting, a sweater for my son, FINALLY. I love him, really I do, but knitting for men is just not one of my favourite things. So, this has been on the needles for over a year. Anyway, it’s done! And since I don’t think my son reads my knitting blog, haha, I know, I’m shocked too, what do you MEAN he doesn’t read it? I figure I can post a picture.

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I’m giving it to him on Christmas eve, so will get some action shots then. I used Berroco’s Vintage (50/50 wool, acrylic). I really like this yarn, very soft and knits up really nicely. And he can wash in the washing machine.

This is the extent of the Christmas decorations at our house.

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Frankie managed to run off with one of the flowers from this hanging basket of stuff while I was just trying to get it from the car to the house. So you can imagine how a tree would fare!

We had a huge dump of snow, here is Frankie and the neighbour’s dog (black dog) enjoying it.

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And Bessie watching it all with incredulity and touch of disdain.

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I don’t have any pictures of the Christmas cookies my daughter sent because we already ate them. Not much forethought there…

Hope you have great holidays!