Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Recap

Wow. That was fun. Let's get to the goods, shall we?

Pattern: Voyager Lace Stole from
Yarn: School Products Supergeelong Coned Yarn
Needle: umm... 7?
Yardage: Goodness knows, but I've still got plenty left.

This project, a Christmas gift for my Aunt Judy, was my first real experiment with lace and my first experiment with coned yarns.

In my naivete, I thought it might be fun to just knit right off the cone. And then I read this post by the Yarn Harlot way back before Rhinebeck and all that changed. The yarn is a coned wool yarn from School Products and this is how it looked before I washed it:

Pretty much like straw

And on the left is the yarn after:

Washed vs. Unwashed

Pretty amazing, really. Plus, it was a heck of a lot more fun to knit when it was this soft. And once the stole was washed and blocked it was even softer. Very nice. I still have a bunch left over and used some of it to make a balaclava for my bro.

This towel rack was the best model ever.

One yarn, two Christmas gifts: can't beat that. (Although Dad kept asking why I knit everything in black. Ugh!)

There were these little guys:

I learned to crochet for real. How about that?

There was also a clutch for Cousin Jess that I had intended to line with fabric. I found some bonding web in the sewing kit and thought I'd use that. I grabbed the iron and discovered it wouldn't turn on. I tried several outlets, no luck. Dad tells me "Jiggle the wire." I do this and a flame shoots out of the cord and nearly singes my hand.

Singe marks are never a good sign.

It is quite possibly the oldest iron in the history of the world, a Sunbeam Jewel series, (with a fabric covered cord!) so I don't know why I was surprised. I'm pretty sure I've seen this iron in house museums where they replicate the way a room would've looked in a given time period. Pity it had to happen on Christmas Eve after all the gifts had been purchased and wrapped.

The gifting in general turned out very nice, but I still have one item that is in severe need of help. It's a felted Giants pillow I made for Dad.

I tried stranding at first, but that got way too messy and complicated so I switched to intarsia which was a vast improvement. Only problem was, I continued stranding the white and without the aid of a swatch (yes, my own damn fault) I was completely unaware of how much the fabric would shrink on the horizontal relative to the vertical (or whatever) so there's a fair bit of pulling across the center which not even I can rationalize as a "design feature." The pillow further suffered the indignity of having an insert that was too small (I opted for a 12x12 pillow insert, should've gone for 12x16, but again that whole vertical vs. horizontal shrinkage differential took me by surprise) and a lack of adequate buttons. I could not find a SINGLE button in Michaels this week and I'm extremely irritated that I had to raid my mom's old sewing basket for buttons - but for some reason I actually found a set of 4 that match! Oh yeah, and I also completely forgot to do the i-cord border before I felted the damn thing. EZ didn't call it the idiot cord for nothing.

As for me, thanks to the wonder that is my Amazon wishlist and the not-so-subtle hints I dropped to Dad and my brothers, I wound up with some things I completely love this year. Only one item had to be returned and that was because I got two of them! Thankfully they have accepted that, yes, I actually knit and, no, it's not funny. I got Inspired Fair Isle Knits by Fiona Ellis although Jenn from DC thinks I should've requested a spinning wheel ;) heh. I also got some books about art theft that I've been eyeing which led to some interesting questions and (2 copies) of the My So-Called Life DVD (Dad says he didn't think anyone watched that show. I asked him if he completely forgot my hypersensitive, moody teenage phase and thinks I've always been this well-adjusted?).

There has been knitting on Enid, yes. But I seem to have strained my neck and shoulders which makes knitting slightly painful right now. I'm very unhappy about that :(