Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the crazies

It's that time of year. There is so much going on with holiday stress, yucky weather, and lack of light. I go into hibernation. I have just enough energy to get by from day to day. I may be knitting, making, and reading all kinds of things, slowly, but the motivation to write it all down leaves me at this time of year. Plus the lack of sunlight at this northern latitude makes good photos difficult at best.

Some good things: waking up early in the darkness to drink coffee and read for 30-45 minutes before getting ready for work. Yoga, on the weekends and a few days after work. A sketch book full of sweater ideas. My first stranded colorwork.

Two years ago, I fell in love with this pattern (Anemoi Mittens, by Eunny Jang) and purchased it along with the yarn to make it. My first attempt at the cuff didn't work out, and the pattern and yarn were put aside. My knitting resolutions the past two years have included learning fair isle. A couple of weeks ago I realized the year was almost over, I had a queue full of various colorwork patterns, and wasn't any closer to knitting them. So, I pulled out my materials and set to work. My tubular cast on is messy, my tension isn't that great, and I just can't get the hang of holding one color in my left hand. So, slowly I go, both yarns in the right hand. But, it's so fascinating to watch the pattern emerge and mittens are such small things that it goes more quickly than I thought. I am farther along than this picture shows, ready to bind off the mitten tip and knit the thumb.

Two small projects for Mina were quickly cast on and finished last month (last month?!?), giving her some more options for bundling up. They don't match, but that probably goes better with her style anyway.

This is the One Day Beret from Through the Loops. It really is a one day project, too. I knit the whole thing one bright Sunday in October, much of it while walking around outside while Mina climbed the rock in the yard and checked the tree for more apples. I used one skein of Bernat felting wool, and when that ran out I finished up with some Merino Bulky left from my duchess raglan. The beret is knit top down, so this worked out pretty well - the softer merino wool is the part the touches the skin.

Mina also got a very purple scarf, made with Cascade Pastaza she chose herself. I stranded it with some Fonty Kidopale in a variegated purple/turquoise colorway and followed the basic directions for The Purl Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I may have made it a couple of stitches narrower to keep it to preschool scale. It's long, with a thick fringe, and I think it's adorable on her but she doesn't hold still for photos very well these days. (In the one above, she's singing the "We Just Got a Letter" song from Blue's Clues and shaking that envelope enough to naturally blur the address for me!)

I have about 15 other projects going on plus requests for additional winter woolens, many books to read, and general chaos, as always. I'll be cooking and enjoying a simple vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, including pumpkin risotto and a brandied apple and stilton soup. I hope those of you celebrating enjoy your holiday and have some time to relax this weekend.