jingle, jingle . . . (that’s the sound of time running out)

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, projects

now there’s a sight i love—all the holiday boxes packed and waiting for the mail carrier. david and i had a packing party for just the two of us on monday night, organizing each box, then the labels, and finally, reserving a pcikup. they went out yesterday and i couldn’t be happier to have that weight off of our shoulders. from here, it’s just parties and furious knitting til saturday . . .

well, ok, maybe a couple of get-togethers, haha. our knitting class party on monday afternoon was the loveliest ever—the food was fantastic and the company was, as ever, jovial. it must have been the influence of winter solstice magic.

we started out seriously enough, knitting away as if it was a regular class—we are each under the gun to finish something by the weekend.

i forget what maureen was working on, but susie is knitting a cabled hat that looks delicious in a deep turquoise color.

anne c. was working away on a cabled keyhole scarf in briar rose wistful, left over from last year’s highlander sweater project—SOooo yummy. of all the group, anne has the best ravelry profile and project page—she keeps it all up to date, which makes it a great resource for the rest of the group (who are a bunch of ravelry slackers lurkers, but happy to keep it that way).

debby is also working with wistful left over from her birnum wood wrap project—now she’s using it to knit juerga, and she’s just whipping through it (just one wristlet to finish up and then a bath). i love the colors . . .

that didn’t last too long, however . . . we were also hungry.

i swear, every year the food gets better and this year we really pulled a nice spread together (that table filled up admirably just a few minutes later with all manner of sophisticated finger foods, mmm).

and then there were the presents

actually, i think it’s even more about the wrappings, haha, since we do keep the gifting on the light side—the focus is mostly on knitting notions, clever household gadgets, and lovable stationery items. it’s great!

i’ll show you what i gave to everyone after the holidays, as i still have my spinning group to surprise next week. i think you’ll approve . . .

in between platefuls of food, we knit some more and susie revealed her new scarf design to us, a criss-cross buttoned scarf

it does happen that some people who stay in my class long enough eventually get bit by the design bug. and sure enough, she emailed each of us a copy of the pattern the next day . . . she may have a future in it.

robin stopped in to say hi and everyone asked to see his orange hat, so he ducked back out to his truck to get it—i guess he wasn’t lying when he said it fit and that he likes it, haha. i’m glad it worked out; i was nervous about getting it just right.

(i’m not really sure what janet thinks she’s accomplishing there, but it’s a cute picture of her trying not to be in the picture, haha!)

finally, it was time to see how the cake turned out inside

it was fine—everything inside cooked just right.
we are testing the oven to see if we can pinpoint the issue, but not stressing about it right now (we’re not really cooking for a crowd any time soon).

after that, we said goodnight and headed home; what a great celebration of our friendship and common interests.

when i got home and was changing into lounging clothes, i realized that i was running a little low on usable, warm socks and remembered that a few pair had finally worn out last year. time to select a couple pair from the finished sock shelf to rotate into use.

i knit this pair of socks in february ’07, during my trip to SPA and for some reason, have avoided putting them to actual use. i know why—they have been holding trophy status on the shelf because they are knit from a fine, handspun yarn and i was afraid to actually wear them. i spun the yarn from spunky eclectic BFL in the (then) navajo colorway and knit it into simple stockinette socks. then i put them on the shelf where i have been admiring them from afar ever since. heh.

the other night i decided to at least put them on and see why maybe i hadn’t worn them—were they too big in the foot or too tight around the top? did they slip down, requiring constant tugging that might strain the fabric? (i’ve always suspected that stockinette socks would not be right for me for this very reason) were they perhaps scratchy??

nope on all counts—they were an absolutely perfect fit. not only that, they were warm and cozy and super comfortable. not bulky at all, yet not thin-feeling either. i wore them a little longer and before an hour had passed, they were my favorite socks of all time. and now that i have these sheepskin clogs to wear around the house, they should not suffer much wear at the heels, the way i was worried about. i’m in love.

my only question to myself is this: can i make more just like them?
is it just a perfectly happy confluence of the right yarn, needles, and stitch count, or can it be replicated?

ah, the eternal knitting question. and so well-suited to a winter solstice evening. i guess i’ll just have to try.

i have handspun sock yarn, i have size 2mm needles, i can count—maybe this could be good travel knitting for january and february (i could knit fresh socks to supply myself in my travels).

while pondering all those questions, i settled in to work on the big project at hand. since monday afternoon i have dedicated all my spare time to it (as well as some not-so-spare time) and so far

i am partway up the back yoke on the body, which i should be able to finish up today. then i’ll start the front yoke.

i also finished the first sleeve and started the second one

the sleeve work is a nice, light break from wrestling with that body piece for several hours at a stretch (which is why i dislike knitting sweaters in the round—once they get this big, they are hellishly bulky and heavy to deal with). while i’m really happy to be past the point where i have to push 290 sts around the needle every few seconds—talk about your sisyphean tasks—the growing bulk of the thing is getting my way all over the place, slowing down my knitting speed.

i know i will be grateful, however, not to have much seaming to do at the eleventh hour; i’m just not sure that knitting this in the round is a time saver.

i’m getting a little concerned about my yarn supply, which was one thing i did not think i’d have to be worried about. and probably i’m fine; i just can’t tell if what i have left will go the whole mile. and you know, if i’m not worrying about something, the sky might fall down.

oh whoa—it’s 2 pm already and here i am chattering about the sweater instead of knitting it—time to go do something about that.

our nephew james and his lovely fiancée diana are stopping for the night to visit, on their way to her family for christmas. i can’t WAIT to see them.

they’re arriving lat, so i don’t have to make dinner, but i do have to think of something for a nice lunch tomorrow and i’ll almost certainly miss some much-needed knitting time while they are here (i’ll try to sneak in some sleeve knitting while we’re sitting around chatting, however).

20 thoughts on “jingle, jingle . . . (that’s the sound of time running out)

  1. What a great celebration! And yay that the cake turned out fine. (As my Mum would have said, it’ll be alright with custard, if the worst comes to the worst!) I just received a copy of the book you reviewed a couple of months ago (Brave New Knits) and it is an absolute gem! I asked for it having read your review, so thanks! Those socks you knitted are fabulous – I love the colour changes. Now I must go and get on with my Christmas knitting – I think I’m deluding myself that it’ll all get done. And I have some yarn from the Natural Dye Studio calling out to me for another one of those Cabled Keyhole scarves! I will be strong! Happy Christmas to you and yours! xx

  2. Oh…the party looks like so much fun. I hope you’ll post a finished picture of Susie’s criss-cross button scarf…it looks so pretty. I’m loving your cabled keyhole scarf. I’m on my second one. I’am also enjoying watching your Christmas sweater progress and can’t wait to see the finished project. Merry Christmas to you and David!

  3. One of my New Year Knitting Resolutions is to replenish my own sock drawer. I have some very special yarns set back for the purpose, but I need to convince my business side that the socks are at least as important as working on the new pattern ideas!

  4. Anne
    I CANNOT believe you finished those absolutely beautiful socks almost 4 YEARS ago and had not worn them since then! What?
    The party looks like a good time.
    Happy Holidays!

  5. It’s feeling like Christmas at last! It looks like you all had such a nice party and everyone’s projects are rolling right along. The packages are mailed and I KNOW you will get your sweater done. I’m loving the socks!

    Hoping to get to Dallas in April and finally get into a couple of your classes! That will be my Christmas present to myself!
    Hope you and David have the most wonderful Christmas! Thank you for all that you share with us here on your blog – patterns, inspiration, your time and a bit of yourself! It feels like a gift.

  6. I love the colors of the socks. I can say that I am going to knit a pair of socks from Cookies new book starting in jan. So hopefully I will have a nice sock drawer to chose from too!

  7. Wishing you and David the best of the Holiday Season.
    I enjoy your blog so very much through out the year.Did I read you maybe in Dallas? Shall look forward to maybe a class.

  8. Pretty socks! Nice and cheery color for the cold months ahead!

    I’d love to know your apple cake recipe, or at least the topping you use. My mother has a fabulous apple cake recipe that was her mother’s, but it lacks in the topping department. I wonder if you would share?

    Happy Holidays to you and David!

  9. Happy Holidays to you and David!! Thank you for your inspiration throughout the year and your generosity in sharing your wonderful talent and awesome designs with us. Looking forward to the New Year! Merry Christmas!

  10. Finished my final cabled keyhold scarf for Christmas – that was my fifth! Still plan on at least one more for myself after the holidays! Merry Christmas!

  11. What a lovely party! And it is a great feeling to get the last box out.

    Now don’t get distracted by socks till you finish that sweater! I’m sure it will turn out great.

    Merry Christmas to you and David!

  12. Gorgeous socks! and a great party, what more could anyone wish for – appart from extra hours in the day for all that knitting.

    Merry Christmas to both of you – lots of festive love and kisses from the UK

  13. What a wonderful read — the mailing out of gifts, a party and more gifts, new socks, good cake, and the promise of more. You must show us your sheepskin clogs, too (I could use something like those myself!).

    Hope you and David have a wonderful Christmas.

    All the best,
    Connie

    PS
    I loved hearing your voice on the Knitmore Girls’ podcast!

  14. That tray full of ornaments on the table is so beautiful – it looks good enough to eat.

    I’m so excited about the sweater – I realized today that I’d been avoiding reading the blog as though my reading would take time away from your knitting 🙂 I’m sure you’ll get it done, and I can’t wait to see some modeled shots!

  15. Thank you for your blog which I have re-discovered along with the joy of knitting after a long break. It cheers and heartens me….have you thought of writing a book?
    Have a lovely, peaceful Christmas.
    Best wishes,
    Mary Jo

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