Time for a mish-mash of catchup
Home ill from work the last week, I was ill enough I couldn’t knit for several of those days (yah that sick…)
However, things are looking pretty good this year as far as the handmade gift checklist goes.
I give this phenomenon credit to:
- Several knitted gift ideas were switched to quilted gift projects which made the time frame MUCH more realistic.
- I wrangled the handmade gift list down to a realistic length and simplified some of the projects. For example, that lap quilt in flannel is just not reasonable, but a runner and napkins are.
I have sweater fever. It’s cold out and all I want to do is make soup and snuggle under quilts while knitting or bundle up in down and walk in the trees. Winter arrived with rain storms but clear, sunny days punctuate and they are divine. There are several SQ’s of yarn in my stash begging to be let out. After a partial day of sorting and mumbling and swatching I started a sweater project as a reward of sorts for having my last hand knit gift half-way completed.
This is The Lake Breeze Cardigan by Amanda Woeger. You can find the pattern on Ravelry as well. It has all I’m looking for at the moment including: Top down raglan shaping, cabled details on the back, minimal finishing. The button band is knit as you go. The fronts are plain stockinette so I think I’ll play with adding vertical bust shaping.
The yarn? Socks that Rock Heavyweight in True Blood Red. I scored if from a destashing Raveler for a steal. This yarn is so rich in color. It’s tight twist makes it sturdy. The cables pop. I’m playing yarn chicken, however, as I only have 100 yards over what the pattern calls for. Since I often lengthen sleeves I have my fingers crossed.
What you see above is the collar looking down the body. There are short rows that help shape the neckline. I learned a new short row technique called Shadow Wraps or Twin Stitch. Brilliant! They’re invisible and don’t require picking up wraps.
This is the tutorial I used to better understand Amanda’s directions on paper. I do much better visually:
Now blocking, a Christmas stocking I made for my niece Lily awaits a lining and a few embroidery stitches to finish up. I made the mistake of not spinning this in my washer before laying it out. It’s taking forever to dry.
Other ramblings –
Here’s our Canadian Hemlock living Christmas tree. Our back yard needs trees so we found this guy at a local nursery and gave it a special spot in the home, our first Christmas tree. He’ll be planted after the holidays. Jane’s leaving it alone. Hooray!
Speaking of Jane, I discovered a cat nip spray that’s been really fun. She ignores the dried herb version. One spritz on a toy or her scratching post and look out! She morphs into a playful thing. Here, post catnip binge, I think she was drooling.
Speaking of wintery soups-below’s a concoction of carrots, butternut squash, mandarins and their zest, and plenty of fresh, grated ginger. Puree with a submersible blender, add some curry and other spices and you get soup that warms you to your toes. I keep this in the freezer almost all of the time in single portion containers. It’s helped get me through this week of cold-induced-misery.
A glimpse into the neglected garden-
A photo of the beautiful hoop frames Pete made. They’ll have plastic sheeting affixed. I’ve been too ill to be out in the cold wind to do this. But today…I can. Here’s a gardener’s lesson – I planted my winter greens starts too late. The chard and spinach in the closest bed are wee and not growing much. Maybe the covers will help? Next year, I know to plan and start earlier.
And lastly, I just have to share this stroke of good luck with you. A road improvement project behind our home involved the construction dudes taking out a stone retaining wall. Needing landscaping rocks, and turned off by the cost and, frankly, from paying for rocks, I eyeballed this wall of potential. After speaking with one of the fellas, he showed up the next day and asked, “Where would you like your rocks?”
Just had to take a video of them unloading a pile in the front yard. I can’t wait to put them to good use.
I hope you are staying warm and cozy!