I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine included a lot of good food, seeing LOTS of people during the three short days I spent with my parents, and a bit too much driving around, just to have time to see everybody! But it was good, and I got to relax some too. Me and Thomas got a lot of contributions for our up-coming trip to the States, which was very nice. We're going to book the trip some time next week, after Thomas double-checks with his boss that he can get the time off.
Hobbe has had a wonderful Christmas at my parents' house! My sister brought her two cats, Medoxa and Daisy, but they're not really fond of other cats so they've spent the whole weekend growling at everybody else. But my parents have two cats as well, Isak and Sigge (imagine five cats in one house!), and they really enjoyed getting to play some with Hobbe! Those three have chased each other around the house, mainly through a play tunnel that my mom has bought for Sigge and Isak, and I really think Hobbe enjoyed getting to play with other cats too. Hobbe is an asymptomatic carrier of the virus that killed our previous cat, Gizmo, so we can't get a permanent companion for him. The virus is transmitted through the litter box, so when we visit my parents we can make sure that they don't use the same litter box, but that wouldn't work if Hobbe was to live full time with another cat. We're having him tested once a year and just hope that the virus will go away (which it might, although no-one seems to be able to say for sure).
Anyway, now that the Holidays are over, I can finally show you my secret Christmas projects! I knitted a pair of socks for my 14-year-old brother in law, William. These are the Manly Aran Socks (modelled by Thomas, who has a little bit smaller feet than William), from the Toe-Up Socks for Every Body by Wendy D. Johnson.
I've never made toe-up socks before, and I think I still prefer cuff-down. I like that once you get past the heel, you get to knit stockinette for the sole for half of every row. I think it's kind of relaxing, as I by that point start to tire of the pattern (for the most part). But I liked the socks, they're not really as hysterical-looking as they are in the photo. Lots and LOTS of cabelling! William loves them, and wore them for the whole Christmas Eve. Success! They're knitted in one full skein of Opal sock yarn, in colourway 3157, and I think I had about 10 meters left of the skein!
My next gift was a shawl for my mom. I think I've told you that her name is Rosalie, and a while ago I found a sock pattern named Rosalie socks. This time I found a shawl pattern named the Rosa shawl, and as that's my mother's nick-name, this was also ment to be.
The shawl is knitted in two skeins of KnitPicks Palette, in colourway Garnet Heather, and I really don't have any other photos than this! I blocked it two days before Christmas, so it was finished just in time! Mom seemed to like it, and I think it will look good with her white winter coat.
I also managed to finish a pair of socks for me over the holidays! These are the Pink Ribbon socks, from my collection of 10 socks for €15.
They are knitted in 75 g of sockyarn bought from Limmo Design at the Sewing festival earlier this fall, and I really enjoyed working with this yarn. The colourway is called Rosebud, which is perfect, and I finally have a pair of pink socks! I wore them to work yesterday, and I love wearing knitted socks at the lab since the AC is always on there to cool all of our machinery off.
Right now I'm working on my Paper Dolls sweater, and I've actually attached the arms and started on the colourwork pattern. I would LOVE to finish this one soon, as I have worked on it for ages (remember, I frogged it this summer as it turned out too big). It's looking good so far, but I have actually forgotten to take any new photos of it so I think you'll have to wait until next time.
I'm also working a bit on the Evenstar shawl, and it's a bit slow going. I'm using my skein of Wollmeise Lace-Garn in colourway Sabrina, and it is just sooooo pretty! However, I'm not a Wollmeise convert, as I can't say that I'm overly enjoying working with this yarn. It isn't as soft as I would like, and I actually find it to be a bit splitty. But it will probably soften once I wash and block it, and the colour is really, really gorgeous, so I think it's worth it. I don't think I'll be buying any more from that store though, especially since it's almost impossible to get anything during the updates. I have no new photos of this one either, mainly because the stitches are all scrunched together on a bit too short needle, so it just looks like green noodle soup so far. I can't wait to finish and block it, so I can actually see the pattern!
Oh, and tonight, at 12.01, the new 11 shawls in 2011 (the group is still called 20 shawls in 2010, but that will change tomorrow) starts! Yes, that's right, the challenge will continue for the next year! I am definitely going to join the group, but I doubt that I'll actually finish next year. I'm working a lot longer days now, and I just don't knit as much as I used to. I also plan on knitting a bunch of other stuff next year, lots and lots of socks and probably some more mittens, so I don't think I will focus on shawls as much. Which might be a good thing, as I have about ten of them hanging in my bedroom allready. It is very possible that I don't really need any more shawls for myself, but I just enjoy them so much! And let's face it: I don't have a black one, a purple one, a grey one, a yellow one...
I'm not sure if I'll actually cast on for a new one right after midnight tonight, as I think I might want to finish the Evenstar first. As that one was started in 2010, it won't count for the new challenge, and I don't want it to end up in some obscure corner while I focus on the 11 shawls that will count. I don't think I'll be that obsessed with the group! But I have yarn wound and patterns prepared for two more shawls: I'm going to make the Panama Tuch in my two skeins of Chopped Tomatoes' Heavenly Infusion yarn (85 % wool/15 % cashmere) in colourway Sister Sister (and what do you know, it's purple!). This yarn is so soft it is silly, and I atually had a bit of problems winding it, as it tended to break a bit too easily. I just hope it will hold up for knitting with!
Photo borrowed from Ravelry
And I'm going to make the Gordischer Knoten shawl with my skein of black lace wool from Ullcentrum on Öland (this is a swedish yarn, Öland is a swedish island off the east coast). This will be my first black shawl, which will be very wearable for me as I have a lot of dark clothes.
Photo borrowed from Ravelry
Did I moan about misplacing my mp3-player before Christmas? I don't remember if I told you, but it seems to have fallen out of my purse when I was walking from my car to my appartment, and as it has been snowing almost every day here, it was probably either covered in snow (and thus probably broken), or someone else found it and had a lucky break (it was a nice mp3-player with 5 Gb memory). I was very sad about it, as I plug it into the car stereo when I commute, but I got a new one for Christmas from Thomas. The new one holds a bit less memory, but it can be expanded with micro-SD cards, and it is very tiny and cute. I love it! Plus, the new one can play all my audiobooks from Audible (I subscribe to the british site, but there is also an american one), which my old player was too old to manage. Yay!
So, today is New Year's Eve. Are you all having fun stuff planned? Thomas' brother William is here visiting us over the weekend, so we're going to have dinner (Thomas is making Porter Steak) with my sister and her boyfriend, and then we're just going to play board games and have a relaxed evening. Especially since William is only 14 years old, the evening will be very calm and non-alcoholic for us (we haven't even bought any champagne!). It will be the perfect evening!
Now I'd better go clean up in the kitchen, so Thomas can cook there later on today. Have a wonderful evening, and I'll talk to you soon!
Happy new year!