The holidays certainly are a frantic time of year. Shopping, baking, cards, wrapping, traveling, visiting ... It's so difficult to catch one's breath over the holidays, let alone remember to blog.
I do wish for you and yours a safe, healthy and happy 2009, filled with good times, good memories and plenty of wool.
This holiday season found Doug, Carrie and I traveling to Michigan to visit. My eldest was in town from Virginia, my middle child was in town, and the daughter was amenable to splitting Christmas Day between her father and myself. So we ventured out through the snow and howling winds to Montague, Michigan, where we rented the extended stay suite at the Weathervane Inn. This turns out to have been a stroke of genius on our part; basically we had a small apartment at our disposal, complete with a private bedroom and full kitchen. I put together a casserole on Christmas eve and we baked it the following morning. All three kids and a spouse (hi, Coris!) came for breakfast and gifts. We had a wonderful time catching up and visiting. Turns out that it has been about 8 years since the three kids had been together for Christmas. Gifts were exchanged and the kids returned to their dad's home.
Doug and I continued on down to the Battle Creek area to visit my family. Typical hotel -- bed, bathroom and that's all there was. We were able to spend some time on Christmas Day at my brother's home. Boxing Day saw us at my youngest brother's house to celebrate with all the sisters and brothers who live nearby, along with my father and step-mother. Two of my three kids came down from Muskegon as well, which was a bonus. Again, gifts were exchanged, food eaten, memories created, and a good time was had by all.
Saturday we drove home. Once again, in pretty crummy weather. Doug wonders why our travels to the western side of Michigan always result in bad weather. I have to keep reminding him that we invariably travel to Muskegon for either American Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November) or Christmas. Both of these holidays fall during the dark days of winter weather; hence, I can pretty well guarantee that we will be driving through crud. Ah well. Perhaps he'll forget enough that I can convince him to repeat our performance next year ...
In any event, all that driving resulted in some pretty intensive knitting time for me. Doug is a far better driver than passenger, so I let him drive while I knit and keep him company. My first accomplishment of the trip was the completion of these socks:
Perhaps these will become a stocking stuffer for some unwitting child next year ... or perhaps not. Only time will tell! The wool was purchased at the Knitters Frolic last year. The wool is Lana Grossa, colour 5121. It was quite nice, no knots or difficulties that way. I used my standard 2.75mm needles and the magic loop technique.
The second accomplishment was the completion of these lovely alpaca mittens for Doug.
The wool is Luxury Alpaca Paint, in a sadly discontinued colour. I used the double-knit mitten pattern that we have found so delightful at the shop and a 4.00mm needle. I did, however, require three 50-gram balls of yarn instead of the suggested two balls. Glad I could find one more ball at the shop since I had only squirreled away two balls! I am planning to sew some bits of leather along the join between the thumb and palm -- exactly where the ski poles will be rubbing. After all, these mitts were enough work that I'm hoping they will last for two whole ski seasons!
Finally, I was able to finish up a baby blanket. This is a design of my own creation and devising! It is a completely reversible entrelac baby blanket!
The blanket is lovingly modeled by my baby doll from my childhood. (If you are wondering, these babies were in use in the late '50s to early '60s.) The pattern required 450 grams of Patons Canadiana--I used a colour named Light Pastels. The pattern has been written up and is in the process of being proofread, after which it will be available for sale in the shop.
All these finished objects mean that my list of projects on needles -- is down to seven! Seven projects on needles! Yahoo! Yippee!