Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

My family arrived late on the 26th and left at 6:00 this morning. Two hand-knit gifts were completed (and another was not). Much yummy food was prepared and eaten. A lot of knitting-related gifts were received. Cats were terrorized by a visiting dog who is used to a kitty playmate. Here are some pictures.

First, my tree-decorating assistant, Harley, takes her work very seriously. She spends a lot of time lying beneath the tree.

Harley Under the Christmas Tree

Blackie, the visiting dog, comtemplates the first FO, a Christmas Warshrag. (Doesn't he look innocent? The cats would disagree. In Blackie's defense, he lives with a cat who likes to play -- everything from wrestling to ear-washing. Simon and Harley didn't get it.)

Blackie and a Warshrag

It was a very bookish Christmas. From the top, there's The Knitting Answer Book, Knit Fix, Knitting Without Tears, Cables Untangled, and Victorian Lace Today. In the back is The Little Box of Scarves.

Christmas Knitting Books

Here's the most ingenious knitting-related gift, though! It's a skein of Illini sock yarn from the amazing Scout, along with the book A Century of Orange and Blue: Celebrating 100 Years of Fighting Illini Basketball. This great gift was from my SnB Secret Pal, Courtney, who doesn't seem to think that my obsession with Illinois baskeball is at odds with knitting. Thanks so much, Courtney!

Illini sock yarn and book

I also got a couple other great, non-knitting books: The Pastry Queen, which I've wanted for ages and which I need to get for Mom, too, and Billy Morrow Jackson: Interpretations of Time and Light. Billy Morrow Jackson was an Illinois artist (both a graduate and professor emeritus of the University of Illinois) best known for his prairie landscapes, which I love. I also receive this CD (explanation why here) and a red crockpot large enough to actually be useful!

And finally -- the piece de resistance! Although I gave it to her unbound-off and unblocked, Mom's Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl was completed before she actually left. Here it is being blocked, with help from one of my feline assistants

Simon and the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

and here it is, being modeled by Mom!

Mom and the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Pattern: Susan Pierce Lawrence's Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca in color 3720 (about a skein and a half)
Needles: Size 8 Denises
Finished size: 55 inches across, 26 inches down the center spine.
Modifications: Absolutely none, although if I had had more time, I would have added one more pattern repeat.

This pattern is really well-written and easy. It probably would be a good "first large lace" pattern, even though I had some intermittent problems, probably from trying to knit too fast - I'm a really slow knitter, and just need to accept that fact! For some reason, the second half of the 9th (of 10) repeat really kicked my butt - I tinked back three rows, because my lifeline was in row 2 and I didn't want to rip all the way back. However, I did make use of the lifeline I inserted in row 2 of each repeat at least twice.

No comments: