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Monday, December 31, 2012

Labours of Love

One and a half months have passed since my last post, and that's because of the well-known Christmas Rush'. I've had two weeks of exams, which obviously implies loads of time spent studying and very little spent knitting. And the time I did manage to spend with my needles, was spent knitting a present for someone.

 But before all that started, I did the last few rows of my entrelac mitts. I've turned them upside-down and sewn up the cast-on edge. I did a few rows of garter stitch after the final row of triangles to make a little cuff. Now I've made them into mittens I would also like to knit a thumb onto them, but I've decided to knit the second one first and then see how much tarn I have left. I've wound the ball on to start at more or less the same position in the colour series and I think I have more than enough to knit a thumb from what I've wound on, but I'm not absolutely positive...

My first 'Labour of Love' Christmas knit was a shawl for my grandmother. I sent her a rather long list of nice shawl pattern to choose from and she came up with this one: Revontuli, which, conveniently, had been in my queue more or less since I joined Ravelry. I got a few indications on colour, but not many, so I wound up getting the yarn with the longest colour cycle I could get: Lang Jawoll Magic.This is one of the yarn most used to knit this pattern, but I found it got stripey way too early. I read in the project notes that quite a few people frogged and changed from m1 to yo, so I decided to do that from the start as  YO's are my favourite increases.

The pattern itself was really easy to follow and a pleasure to knit really. I might just make one for myself when I find some yarn that has longer colour cycles. The pattern recommends Aade and Kauni, both of which I might be able to get my hands on one day.
My grandmother wanted this shawl to wear in bed, but now I've given it to her, she says it's too beautiful to wear in bed and now wants to wear it to go out! That means I already have a present for her for next year: another shawl, but this time one she can really wear in bed. It's going to be so difficult to knit that isn't too beautiful on purpose...

Another shawl I will have to knit is one for my mother. She has very sensitive skin, so I got her two skeins of Manos del Uruguay silk blend for Christmas. I absolutely loved knitting with this yarn when I made my S.W.A.N. shawlette, so making something nice out of these two lovelies should be quite enjoyable!

My own Christmas presents included two knitting magazines and three lots of Etsy stitchmarkers -I can now finally stop using loops of scrap yarn as markers :) - And two sets of really nice buttons. I don't have a project in mind for them yet, they look wonderful to me!

My stitch markers were put to use right away.
My present to my father was to knit his a jumper. I had already bought the yarn in Britain over the summer so I've started it now and hope to have it finished in three months. My father is rather skinny, but he's also really tall so knitting his this will probably take an age. Because the chances of this being the only jumper I will knit for him are rather high, I wanted it to be one he's like. He chose the pattern, Dad's Cardigan, and for once, I bothered to do a gauge swatch. Lucky I did, because my gauge was way off on the recommended 5 mm needles and I had to go down to 4.5 to get near enough for it to be acceptable. Reading through other knitter's notes, I found that most of the the abbreviations were wrongly explained, so I just knitted straight from the chart, which, incidentally, are correct. The pattern includes raglan sleeves, which, combined with my father's long arms, meant that it has taken me a week to knit one sleeve. I've got one week of holidays remaining before I go back to school on January 7th and I hope to have finished the second sleeve by then. We will see.

To take a break from the intensive knitting of the jumper, I have also been doing some crochet, I gathered all my little bits of fingering yarn left over from various shawls and socks and decided that, instead of knitting mitred squares I would would crochet some Granny squares a see what I could do with those. As you can see, I've got very few scraps, but I suppose they will accumulate over the years... Scrap project are always long term WIP's aren't they?

That's all for now.

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