Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas came early this year

When Alex was home for Thanksgiving break, Joe asked everyone what they wanted for Christmas. Justin was the first to answer (with a video game, of course). Alex and Joe hemmed and hawed a bit, then I piped up that I'd like them to set up a blog for me and tutor me on particulars (like uploading photos). There was stunned silence at the dinner table, then several comments along the line of "well, I didn't expect THAT, did you?"

Less than a week later, here I am with my new toy. Wonder if they'll have anything for me under the tree (I have more than a few ideas)?

I've been keeping a diary of sorts of my knitting projects (in the works and/or completed) for years. Early on, the diary included detailed how-to notes, which were great for reference use. I became a lazier writer as years went by, and I started only listing completed projects. My how-to notes moved to post-its which eventually would get lost or lose their meaning to me; I have several self-designed or heavily modified projects I began years ago that have been sitting half finished since I can't find my notes and haven't taken the time to recreate them.

My intention is to use this blog for both purposes.

What's on the needles now:

I've dropped several projects for me (the Modern Quilt Wrap from Folk Knits and the Ella Jacket from Simply Shetland 4) in order to try to crank out as many Christmas gifts as possible in the next four weeks. I am almost done with the first item, a reversible cabled scarf knit from sportweight alpaca for my friend Dawn. Here's what else I hope to finish:

fingerless gloves for my two nieces
a lace scarf for my brother's fiancee Karen
a camel/merino (Ksar) scarf for family friend Douglas
scarves for my father, father-in-law, and brother, all of alpaca or alpaca/merino blends
scarf for Dawn's husband Dave from stash yarn I received from his mother's estate

If the above are finished quickly, I'll work on the sweater-from-hell for my daughter Kerry. This is the sweater she requested in early 2005; I mistakenly said "yes" before hearing what she wanted: solid black, 6 stitch to the inch or finer, covered in cables, and machine washable (but not cotton). She won't accept a machine knit sweater from a store, and every design I presented required some pattern changes (has to be hip length, fitted, v neck, and 3/4 sleeves). I'm on my second attempt (about halfway up the back, no other pieces knit).

No matter how far along I am, this sweater will be put aside the moment she returns to college (I despise knitting this sweater only slightly less than I love my daughter). Do others have projects they hate, but must complete for whatever reason? How does one get through to the end?

My mother-in-law received the Daisy scarf from Rowan #36 (knit in sportweight alpaca/silk from Blue Sky) for her birthday last week, so she gets store bought gifts this year. My youngest announced last month that "only nerds wear sweaters these days", so, having learned my lesson when the twins were younger, I won't knit for him this year. My mother usually complains about what I give her, so I decided to go almost exclusively store bought for her presents (it seems to lessen the pain a bit). Joe is making presents for his sister and her husband, so that's two more off my "to knit" list.

Since Alex and Joe both know about this blog, I won't post hints about what I might or might not have planned for them.

Back to my needles...

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