Saturday, December 28, 2013

A late Merry Christmas!

I hope you've all had a really lovely and relaxing week! We went to visit our parents on Sunday last week, and came back to Mantorp yesterday evening, so we've been gone for almost a week. It's been a really good Christmas for both of us, I've spent a lot of time with my family just hanging out and knitting a lot, and Thomas got to see his family a lot and spend lots of time with his brothers too. We got a lot of cute and functional baby stuff for Christmas gifts, which I won't show off here, and had lots of lovely food. Everyone was so pleased to see us this year too, especially me and my growing stomach!

Since the last time I wrote I've done a lot of knitting too. On the weekend of the first of Advent, Thomas helped his brother move, so I had the whole Saturday to put up the Christmas decoration and knit. I finished the Show-off Stranded socks in Friday Studios Monday base yarn (colourway Girl on Fire) in just about a week, which I'm very proud of!

These makes number eleven this year in the Stripey KAL that the Stockinette Zombies are hosting, and almost immediately I cast on for the last pair. I was actually thinking of using this yarn for a baby hat, but I decided that it wasn't quite soft enough for that so it got to become another pair of socks for me. This is the Georgia on My Mind socks, and I made them with Austermann Step sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon, 421 m/100 g), in the colourway 220.

I really, really like these socks! I think the yarn is a really good work horse yarn, and it has some Aloe Vera in it that makes your feet feel soft and pampered when you wear them. I made these socks really fast too, just under a week. and they completed the twelve pairs of striped socks this year! Yay!

Those are the projects that I finished, and I also chose to put one in hibernation on Ravelry. I was intending to make three Pikmin toys, but I decided to hold off on the second and third. I made the yellow one a while ago, and it is super cute, but I just don't enjoy crochet! It's very fiddly for me, and makes my hands hurt, so I'm going to wait. I do want the finished objects some day, just not right now.

And this means that I've only got two projects on the needles right now. I've actually been working a lot on my Mandala II shawl, and I'm a third through the last chart before the edging. I used up the first whole skein and switched to the second a while ago, but I think there should be enough. I really hope so!

I'm quite enjoying the lace knitting, it's just that each row is a little bit over 1100 stitches and takes me almost an hour. And there are no rest rows either, there is patterning on every row. I won't finish it this year, but hopefully in January.

I've also knit a lot on the Gnarled Oak cardigan, and that one is almost finished. I've knit and attached both sleeves, and I'm almost done with the leaf motives on the yoke. Then it's just button bands and collar bands left, which should go pretty quickly. The photo is taken just before I attached the sleeves, but I just couldn't be bothered with taking a new one today in the dreary dark weather (we've had the warmest Christmas in Sweden for fifty years, with more rain than has been measured since the country started keeping records...).

I'm enjoying this one very much, and since it's DK weight (I'm making it in Wollmeise DK, colourway Pesto) it's going really fast. I also ordered button off of Etsy a couple of weeks ago, from a store called Wooden Artist:

I'm so pleased with these! They are made from two different types of wood (Kozika to the left and Acacia to the right), and oiled, and they will fit this cardigan perfectly. I just haven't decided which set I'm going to use yet, I'll show them to you with the cardigan next time. I noticed after I got them that the one that is in the pattern on Ravelry also has wooden buttons, and it looks great.

I got my last shipments in both yarn clubs I'm in these past weeks too. First I got the December shipment in the Cookie A sock club, which was an absolutely gorgeous skein from Tanis Fiber Arts:

This is Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn (70 % merino/20 % cashmere/10 % nylon, 366 m/115 g), in the colourway Julep. I've actually already skeined this one up, and it is becoming a baby hat. It is incredibly soft, and I really like the colour too.

Then I got the last shipment in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club too, which is a skein of the Knitting Goddess sock yarn in the colourway Everglot (which is from the movie Corpse Bride). It is a really pretty shade of silver grey, and I'm happy with this one too. I've been happy with almost all of the colours in this club, but I'm not going to join in for another round (I don't remember what the theme was next year, but it was something else). We're just not splurging on stuff like that next year, what with the baby coming.

Ok, I think that was it with the knitting. I was really hoping to get everything off the needles for the start of the new year, but I'm just not going to be able to finish the shawl. I think I'll finish the cardigan though, so I'll just have to be content with one thing on the needles. And once January comes along I'll start a new pair of socks (I haven't decided which pattern yet, but it will be something semisolid and cabled) and a baby hat. And probably a baby cardigan too. It's only a little more than two months until it's due to arrive so I better get a move on!

I'll not get back to you before New Year's Eve, so I'll talk to you again next year!

/ Jenny