First off, no one who I know reads this blog can accidentally see one of her gifts, so reading on cannot spoil any surprises.
Second, today we had 9 hours, 29 minutes of daylight; I spent 10 hours at work. The photos are on my work table, and therefore, functional, not scenic. I did use the tripod and my Ott light, so the colors aren’t too bad. Therefore, on to the FOs! In order of completion:
M’s dad gets the scarf. It was a weird one to block. The pattern, such as it is, was a free download from the Misti Alpaca site, and it said to pin the scarf out dry and then mist it with water (hence the name Misti Alpaca?). The ball band did specify that hand-washing in warm water was OK, so I was a bit perplexed by the whole dry pinning idea. However, I decided to try that first. Blocking wires proved essential to maintaining my sanity, but all worked out well. The pattern said from one skein of yarn to expect a 6″ x 40″ scarf. I got 6″ x 45″ without stretching lengthwise. M’s dad is a tall man, so the extra 5″ I managed to get is good.
Next up, we have beaded snowflakes, each is going to a different person.
These were very fun to design and a total bitch to make. The snowflake wire forms, were made of spring tempered steel. For those not overly conversant with metal tempers, the temper indicates how soft or hard the metal wire is. For example, you can’t go to the hardware store and buy a spool of copper wire, wind it around a dowel and then use it as a spring, as soon as you push or pull on the ends of your “spring” it will collapse; it can’t bounce back. Spring temper is tough to bend. I broke several forms trying to bend the loop at the end to keep the beads from falling off. It wouldn’t have been so frustrating if the packaging hadn’t shown children making snowflakes, and the instructions hadn’t ended with “Have fun!” But these are done, I like them, and I think I have figured out how to transport them from California to the Midwest branches intact.
Finally, last night I finished the socks for M’s grandmother.
The leg pattern is the 5-stitch repeat yarn-over cable from Sensational Knitted Socks, but I didn’t want to make a toe up sock, which is what all the 5-st repeat socks are, I made up my own heel flap, heel turn and toe. I like the heel flap. It’s a hybrid of carrying down the YO-cable into a 3×2 rib, except I slipped the middle stitch of the 3 knits on the right side, similar to the 3×3 slipped stitched rib in the 6-st repeat section of SKS.
The color didn’t pool too badly, and I somewhat liked the idea of a busy pattern in a yarn colorway named Renaissance. Simple lines do not appear to have been a Renaissance aesthetic. I hope they fit M’s grandmother, who, I am told, has long narrow feet. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
As soon as I finished the socks, I cast on a new pair for myself. My grey marled gingerbread cable socks are going to have to wait until after the holidays for me to knit the second sock. I used metal needles on the first, and M compared my metal to bamboo size 1 needles, and they are not the same size. Since I am flying next week, I think it would be best to have all bamboo needles. I know I am supposed to be able to take metal needles, but last time I flew they took away my craft scissors with 1″ blades, and up to a 4″ blade is supposed to be acceptable. I need to get into the pattern I’ve picked for the new socks tonight, and then I hope to show them to you tomorrow.