Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wait, I Just Blinked

... and now it's January, for goodness' sake.

I really can't explain how that happened. Perhaps like Snow White I pricked my finger on a spindle and fell into an enchanted sleep. Well, if that's the case, let me show you a few of the things that have been going on all this time in my dreams.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving with a crowd at the home of my bubbly-sister-in-law. I was delighted to see my trim-athletic-dad wearing his sweater. He'd only been waiting for cold enough weather. And I'm so happy with how well it fits!

As you can see, the poochie knows who the soft touch is. She's rightly judged that any treat my Dad has, she will soon get to share.

Like half the East Coast, we got buried deeply in snow, a week before Christmas.

I'm glad to say this is not my car buried in a snowdrift, but this is what it was like. We weren't going anywhere for a few days.

That took a real bite out of my Christmas shopping time and I had to run hard from then on to catch up and be ready in time.

We had a lovely time celebrating the holidays, though. It's always wonderful when the frenzy of preparation is over and we can just relax and enjoy some time together.

And, though I didn't have time to go all-out, I did manage to eke out a few knitted presents.

After the Fall Fiber Festival, in Montpelier, I got busy right away on spinning my finds. So as the holidays approached, I had half-pound batches of worsted-to-chunky weight yarn spun from two beautiful colorways of a 50/50 wool-mohair blend from Kid Hollow Farm, in Free Union, Virginia. The dark one is Northern Lights, and the gray-lavender one is called Violet-Turquoise Spot.

I knit each colorway into a scarf, one for my tall-elegant-mom and one for my trim-athletic-dad, using a simple mistake-rib stitch pattern. Those scarves turned out to be nicer than I could even imagine. Before I had six inches done, I was noticing what a beautiful drape the knitted fabric had, thick as it was. The mohair in the blend really gave it a lovely fluid quality.

Unfortunately, in my rush to get them done and wrapped, I neglected to take pictures of the finished items. I have high hopes, though, of seeing them in use at some point. If so, I shall immediately pounce with my camera.

I also knit a hat and gloves for my Mom, in Noro's Cash Island. It's a double-knitting weight yarn of wool with 30% cashmere, strengthened by just a bit of nylon. And of course, it has those amazing color transitions that make Noro yarns fascinating to knit. The hat is a simple beret, which I also forgot to photograph, but I did get a picture of the gloves.

That was exciting; it's the first time I've knit a pair of gloves, with all those little fingers. I was relieved that they actually came out the right shape. In fact, I was unsure enough that I wrapped them and put them under the tree without first weaving in the ends. That was just in case, once they were tried on, I needed to ravel the ends of the fingers to adjust the fit!

And I knitted the wool I dyed with Kool-Aid into a bright, cheerful scarf for my little niecey. This is the first project for which I dyed the locks, hand-carded the wool, spun the yarn, and designed and knit the scarf. And when she wears it, she can point to the stripes and say, "this is Tropical Punch, this is Kickin' Kiwi-Lime, ..."

I really had a good time with it. But don't say anything, it will just encourage me. :)


puffthemagicrabbit said...

Your KHF yarns are gorgeous! So is your father's sweater, and your nieces scarf is great- you must play with koolaid more (stay tuned, soon I will have a shot of the puppy who got dyed w/ grape koolaid last night- my daughter is a nut).

Robin said...

Glad you're back! Your dad's sweater looks great. Even the pup is admiring it! Love the gloves. Hard to beat Noro's colors but your Kool-Aid dyeing might give it some competition! Especially with those names!

cathy said...

It's so nice to hear from you both again. :) Thanks for not disappearing forever when I spent way too long doing whatever it is people do when they aren't taking care of their blogs. The Kool-Aid dyeing was lots of fun; I'm trying to work up to trying some other types of dye, too.

Can't wait to see the grape-flavored puppy -- that must be a sight!