On December first (two weeks ago that is now, but who's counting), I laid out an ambitious holiday knitting plan (OK, I realize that it is in no way ambitious compared to the pros, but it felt big to me). I would first like to state for the record that prior to December the first, I had planned no plans with regard to the knitting of gifts. In fact, I think that it would be safe to say that my general attitude toward holiday knitting was something along the lines of, "I have plenty of projects on the needles, and I really want to knit myself a sweater, so if people want handknit gifts they can whistle for them". Actually, my thoughts were a bit more charitable than that, and what I really figured was that knitting for birthdays is a more sane plan of action, as they tend not to all happen on one day at the end of the year right after grades are due.
(This is only partly true, as there are an appalling number of June birthdays in our family, but I'm going to stand by that statement for now.)
Then the yarn sale happened. What I guess I'm trying to say here is that this is not my fault. Anyone, upon walking into their very favorite LYS in the world and seeing every single skein of yarn on sale, would have succumbed to the desire to purchase yarn. And anyone who feels guilty when buying large amounts of yarn this close to Christmas might find that it alleviates that guilt to insist to oneself that the purchasing is being done for the benefit of others.
(This doesn't exactly explain away the purchase of this yarn right here; but I'm not talking about that right now.)
(And anyway, can you say hello kestrel colorway? I had to buy it.)
Of course, many of you, being smarter than I, might have also realized that the haze of goodwill generated by yarn fumes should not blind one to the fact that the aforementioned yarn is, after purchase, still in need of knitting before it can be given to most people (this is not true if the recipient is a knitter, but I didn't have any of those on my list, alas). I, however, still under the influence of those fumes, trundled home and laid out the following ambitious plan:
A Swirl Shawl scarf for my sister-in-law
Mittens for my brother-in-law
Mitts for my niece
Icarus for my aunt
I may also have mentioned something about finishing Rick's sweater, and maybe some socks. See what I mean about those yarn fumes? More dangerous than a good single-malt, they are.
However, I am here to announce that two weeks later, I have achieved the following:
A swirl scarf for my sister-in-law
Mittens for my brother-in-law
A hat, which I'd intended to go with the BIL's mittens, but which looks so good on Rick that I think he's going to get it instead (don't tell, though, it's a secret)
Mitts for my niece.
This leaves me with Icarus for my aunt (her request), which I will be casting on tonight, just as soon as I'm done posting, and Rick's sweater. I think that I have reached a state of acceptance with regard to the sweater; it's not going to be done. As for the shawl, I'm engaging in some backup planning that involves wrapping up the unfinished knitting in a beautiful bag and giving it to my aunt for two minutes before demanding its return so that I can finish it. That should work, no? (Please tell me that there's someone else out there who's done this? I haven't tried it before, but I have read of it...)
Look! I even have photographic proof that I have, indeed, knitted as I say I have knat. (Can you tell I'm a bit giddy?)
First, the scarf. This is the Swirl Shawl pattern, which I modified to make narrower so as to knit a scarf instead of a shawl. I used Jojoland Melody yarn, which I found unexpectedly delightful; I'd definitely knit with it again. I ended up knitting a grand total of 31 swirls, which means 62 ends to weave in. I think I'm discovering the zen of end-weaving. I also did them a few swirls at a time, so that my zen wouldn't wear off (I know it's not supposed to, but I guess mine's not so solid yet).
(I should mention that these are all nighttime indoor photos; I have to send most of these off tomorrow, and with the rain we've been getting, there's not much in the way of good daylight in the daytime anyway.)
Then there were the mittens. We all know how traumatic that experience has been for me. I'd like to mention here that I asked Rick to try them on one more time tonight before weaving the ends in, and dang if they didn't fail to fit him again, but in a new and innovative way this time. I told him to go away and take his frightening mutant hands with him. How could I have known him for twenty years and never realized that he had mutant hands? Hear me now: I'm never knitting mittens for this man.
These are Anne's Lacunae mitts, made into mittens, and knitted from Cascade 220 yarn. I'm not so fond of the yarn, but the pattern is wonderful. The best bit about these mitts is that those warm little honeycombs almost completely disappear when they're not stretched out over a hand, and they just look like k2p2 ribbed mitts; but put them on and presto! You've got honeycombs! Love it.
The hat is also from the Lacunae pattern. I was requested not to do a full-face shot, as he's feeling rather scruffy today.
And then there are the mitts for my niece, being modelled here by Younger Daughter, who wants a pair. These are Tendrils mitts from MaryLou of Yarnerinas; I love this stitch motif, and had such fun knitting them that I'm thinking I might need to knit a pair for myself; I wish I could get a picture in better light so you can see how cute they really are. I used Lorna's Laces sportweight for them. I might actually be able to get another child-sized pair out of the skein. (Lorna's Laces, I should mention, has become one of my new surprise favorites; how did I miss how much fun it is to knit with?)
So there you have it, everything that got done in the last two weeks. I now have a week to get this last project done if at all possible. That and the rest of the holiday shopping, three plays, a party, cookie baking and granola making, and getting ready for Christmas eve and the big day itself, as well as for houseguests; oh, and I'd like to catch up on my blog reading. Crazy.