Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Winter. has been brutally cold in these parts.   While I have been known to proclaim that I LIKE winter, what I really mean is that I love snow.  I want enough snow to go cross-country skiing on a regular basis, without any pesky freezing rain to mess up the trail.   I want cold temps, but not brutally cold.  Monday, things fell together nicely, and Doug and I went skiing.  It was the best ski I think I have ever had.  Doug nailed the ski wax, and I was able to get up most of the hills without the constant use of the herringbone maneuver.    In fact, Doug and I were about even in our use of herringbone which has never happened before.   Providing my partner can open tomorrow, I'm off to the trails again!

In knitting news, it has been an interesting week.  I finished up the second set of "Spiced Nutmeg" from "Love of Knitting" Winter 2013.   
The yarn is Loyal, colour 935, from Naturally, and I used a 3.75mm needle.  The pattern suggested 13 pattern repeats for the hat brim.  Twelve was plenty long enough.    There are four lovely young ladies in my life, and one of them will be receiving this as a gift.   "Which one,". You ask.  I'm not entirely certain, and I just might make another set.  One never knows!

I'm plodding along on a pair of socks, also destined to be holiday gifts.  The finished sock has had the heel and toe reinforced with a second strand of 2-ply yarn. 

I am using 2.5mm needles and getting a nice, tight knit.   I hope the extra body in the heel and toe doesn't irritate the unknown recipient. 

It turns out that I haven't knit much on the Elsebeth Lavold top.   Apparently other things have had me distracted.   I did, however, manage a better photo of the armhole shaping and detail. 
It's just a four-stitch cable, but very effective.  Now that I have looked at it again, I don't know why I haven't been more devoted ...

There is a funny story about the next two projects.  I hardly ever knit with 6.0mm needles.   When I saw a vest pattern requiring that size, I thought that it would be a nice change to use that size.   So I did, using some alpaca/wool yarn that I had hand-dyed myself.    (The pattern is "Alaska Sweater" from Bergere de France.) 

I did the ribbing on my 4.5mm needles, no problem.   Then I opened my Addi case and discovered to my utter and absolute horror, that my 6.0mm tips were missing.  Who did I loan them to, and when?  how would I ever get them back?   I fretted all afternoon, and came home and pulled out my set of regular Addi 6.0s and continued on.   I fretted all day Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday.  I made a Facebook post about the missing needles.  

On Sunday I pulled out my afghan project in preparation for teaching my class.   And stood there dumbfounded and open-mouthed as the realization hit me.   My "missing" needles were right there, in my afghan project.     D'oh.    All my ladies and my family have had a good laugh over this little experience.   I have learned to check ALL the projects in my bag before declaring needles missing!

Speaking of the afghan project, here is a photo of its current state.

Square Two is on the right, and Square Three on needles.   So far the ladies are liking the project and are quite enthusiastic.   The design, by Michelle Hunter, is well thought out and written.  So far I have seen only one little thing that I would have done differently, and it is a minor thing.  (The final step of the bobble leaves the finished bobble on the left needle after you turn the work to finish the row.  I would have added a row so that the finished bobble was on the right needle.).   We'll see how the ladies fare in two weeks. 

Barring any unforeseen mishaps tomorrow, my knitting will continue apace.  This year I kept the Christmas stockings out with the intention of filling them through the year.   I have two things for two stockings, and half a pair of socks.  And eleven months until then.  Hopefully I'll have everything done in time this year.

In two weeks and five days I get to go visit my son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  I'm already planning and plotting as to which projects will travel with me.    I can't wait to see them!

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