I could get used to the amount of sun we’ve been having, even if it is really cold at the same time. I’ve been working on the kitchen table which is bright and not so cold now that I put up the shrink plastic over the crappy louvered window (that was supposed to be replaced by now but I’m still waiting). Actually I’ve also been working upstairs at my desk as well, but since it’s covered in bead and wire stuff for the oodles of stitch markers I’ve been making, I had to come down to the kitchen to find some free space to crochet on my Winter Bling Scarflettes that I want to wear to a couple of Christmas parties. More on them when they’re done.
Meanwhile, my Ravelry knitter’s group the Terminal City Yarn Wranglers (no, I had no input into the name but it does crack me up!) had a wonderful Festivus Miracle Swap o’rama on Saturday evening at Steamworks downtown. It was fun, though a bit noisy and crowded and hard to visit with everyone because we were all strung out on a very long table. I was stuck in the banquette but eventually was able to escape and schmooze down the other end for awhile. While I wouldn’t say I was happy with my food and drink – expensive fish and chips that gave me an upset tummy all night plus flat pear cider – the service was very accurate and attentive. The desserts were humungous and I was glad I didn’t succumb or I would have had even more tummy trouble than I did! However the company was fun and I think most everyone really enjoyed their gifts.
I personally lucked out and my swap partner, the darling beentsy, gave me this wonderful Treasure Chest:
Clockwise from the top that would be fabulously well-fitting fingerless mitts in a gorgeous terracotta Malabrigo Sock yarn, Ferrero chocolates, the rest of the Malabrigo yarn, stitch markers, tiny tins of Burt’s Bees hand and cuticle creams, and Handmaiden sea silk for spinning all in a fabulous red-flocked box with a gold embossed lid. Whoo! I don’t normally get gifts that I like (one of the reasons I don’t give many either) but this is all so perfect right down to the package it came in. Thanks, Tammy! You da bestest!
Wanna see those mitts again?
Please admire the cunning little leaves on each side of the thumb with cabled stems down to the wrist. I’ve already worn them in public to much acclaim. BTW, the sneaky woman was knitting these right in front of me at knitting meetup! I was so admiring them too and wondering which pattern she used. Now they are mine! All mine. Why is it that the colour orange makes me incredibly happy? I may have to see if I can get a cowl out of the rest of the yarn to coordinate with my mitts, huh?
So of course now I can blog about the gift that I made for my friend Lauren (laurendw on Ravelry):
Completed: November 7, 2009
Yarn: handspun 2-ply fingering weight, spun from Ashland Bay merino top purchased at Birkeland Bros, colour “Baltic” blues with a hint of maroon and green.
Beads: 6° copper-lined grey AB.
Needle: Aero 30” circular, 3.25mm
Hook: .5mm (for applying the beads)
Pattern: “Teardrop Scarves” by Celeste Culpepper, from Knitscene Fall ’07. Errata noted.
Mods: made the longer size on 326 sts but only 2 repeats of the pattern.
Comments: Quickly ran out of yarn (leftovers from another project) and had to spin more. First try turned out too fine so back to the spinning wheel. Used the Victoria with regular flyer on second-lowest ratio (1:8.5). I was trying for soft yet properly plied. Even with a “feelie” sample it was hard for me to keep the thicker size and the results were still a little finer than the original yarn I was trying to match. Worked out ok anyway.
I added the beads with a crochet hook instead of a dental floss threader as the pattern suggests. I also knit the bead stitch after adding the bead instead of just placing it on the right needle unworked.
The pattern was considerably fuzzy on a few points even with the errata. I fudged a bit where I was unclear and it came out reasonably symmetrical. Noticed a loose stitch (slipped out of a k2tog) after it was totally finished so stitched it up with a separate piece of yarn. Unfortunately it looks a little rough but it’s in the section that goes around your neck. (Nobody will see it. Heh!) I blocked the finished scarf to 5.5” wide by 75” long using pins and blocking wires. It looked a bit scalloped on the edge afterward so I steamed the edges. I could visibly see the knitting oozing back in! It ended up about 5” wide by 73” long. Not as small as I feared it might be when I started this project. Feels soft. I think Lauren likes it. Yay!
I also included a selection of teas, a couple of organic free-trade chocolate bars, a whole flock of handmade stitch markers (which I totally forgot to photograph) and a Sivia Harding pattern for a Faroese-shaped shawl with Shetland lace that should be somewhat of a challenge to knit. It was fun to put this all together. I can handle making up a present for one person at a time. I think. Especially one who appreciates handwork.
One more party with my weavers’ guild to go. Then on to the family stuff. Whew. Remind me to stick with my local fish’n’chips shop where the food is so much better and less than half the price. No tummy ache.