Friday, December 29, 2006

The Fifth Day of Christmas

Dear Laura:

I was glad to hear that you had a great Christmas despite the sickness your boys had. We had some family members who were sick before Christmas, but it all seemed to have run its course by then.

We had a great Christmas as well. All 30 members of my immediate family gathered on Christmas Eve after church for our annual exchange...a wonderful time was had by all. Look at the great gift my niece gave me!!

I finished mom's scarf and mittens....earlier that afternoon. I was at the point of grafting the scarf together and blocking it, and just could not find the time. It got to be a lot more difficult that last week because my parents arrived on Wednesday, so I had to be sneaky.

Grafting is, as you may recall, a skill that eludes me. I've done it a few times, but was never that satisfied with the result, so my "dirty secret" as a knitter who teaches sock classes is that I use the 3-needle bind-off for toes! However, that was just not going to fly for this scarf.

I sat down at the table to begin. This picture shows the scene after I wisely decided to go get a lamp to improve visibility. (Note the towel on the chair next to the table, to be used to cover my work if my mom "dropped by!") My first attempt at this grafting had several points against it. First of all, there was not enough light, and second of all, I was reading the directions for grafting stockinette to stockinette, while my actual project was grafting stockinette to 2x2 rib.

This first attempt did not go well. The ripping out of this first attempt was actually pretty disastrous. Until this morning, when I checked the label, I was convinced that this yarn was a mohair blend, because it stuck together SO tenaciously. For the first time ever, I ended up CUTTING the yarn at a stuck point and then had to rip back several rows and reknit them. When I did look at the label, I was shocked to see "100% Wool!" Can't imagine how they got it off the sheep!

The second attempt, with more light and both sides being a stockinette row, I was able to successfully graft the pieces together. I did heed your advice to keep the grafting loose until I was done, and then tighten it. It was still quite a production, but I was happy with the result.

Here is an update on the "Not Christmas Knitting!"

1. Feather and Fan scarf for mom. This was completed and steam blocked, along with a matching pair of mittens. (I'll post a picture soon!)
2. Warm brown hat for middle brother. This was completed several weeks ago.
3. Socks for middle SIL (they are always doing something for me!) 2nd Sock finished, 1st sock 4" of cuff done.
Here's a picture of the progress. I'm using new double-points, which are really quite short. I really do like them, altho I would not if they were ANY bit shorter. And I have to watch because the stitches are prone to slipping off in transport. These will be a birthday gift in early Feb.

4. Fuzzy feet for niece-who-is-also my beautician. NOPE.
5. Tech guy socks with the Apple logo for my Mac-pusher friend. NOPE
6. Angora baby hat NOPE
7. I know, I know, there was no 7 on the original list. This was the soap sweaters that I hoped to make, and I did get two prototypes done and the pattern posted.

And just for kicks, I made this hat for my great-nieces birthday on December 21st! Chunky baby chenille that I picked up at a hobby store and knitted in a couple of hours. I also dug some fun yarn out of my "remanant" stash to make a quick scarf, but it has not progressed very far.

So, I need to finish the socks, the furry scarf and my Red Scarf project over the weekend so that I can begin THE NEW YEAR'S KNITTING. Time to finish up the 2006 Finished Object Gallery and start the 2007 Gallery!!


Keep knitting!!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

1 comment:

Marie N. said...

Congratulatiosn ont he work you did get done.

Those socks look great, nice and warm! Can you put ends on the needles when you put the project away to keep from losing stitches?