Sunday, September 28, 2008

Holidays and Lace Reading

Have you started your Holiday Knitting yet? Some may think that if you haven’t started yet, it might be too late. Perhaps…..soo….I have some to catch up. The problem with holiday knitting is the idea of starting new projects and putting aside the ones you’re in love with. It takes a lot of self control to tear oneself away from those project to focus on other people, but nevertheless, necessary to your sanity, especially if your set on knitting gifts.

So, what am I going to do for the holidays? Who am I going to knit for this year? I tend to be a realist and KNOW that I cannot knit for every member of my family. The most immediately circle of family who gathers together for most family events amounts to 15 people plus a new baby.
My fingers are still itching to spin more. I just spun up about 500 yards of superwash roving in a sock weight yarn. I still need to decide how to dye these skeins to make a nice pair of socks for someone.
I had spun up some mohair not too long ago. It came out so soft and I wondered what I could make out of it. Since I was thinking about the holidays, I ran across last years Holiday Issue of Interweave Knits and rediscovered a beautiful pattern for Sugarplum shrug. This would be perfect with the mohair. I tried to start this pattern before and failed. At that time, I had barely tried lace patterns and this one did not have a chart. So through much frustration and several restarts, I quit and ripped it out.

Now, having had some lacework behind my belt experiencewise, I decided to do it right and swatch first. I used a smooth sport wt yarn to learn the patterns and was eventually successful after some experimenting with my style of knitting. If I could not get this to work with smooth yarn, I knew not to attempt it with the mohair, especially because ripping it out would be disasterous. All the fine fuzzy hairs would tangle and felt to no end. What I need was some confidence with the lace pattern! I learned to read my knitting. Read Knitting? What’s that, you might be asking? It is being so familiar with the directions of the decreases and knowing and predicting where a yarn overs should go, to get the outcome or pattern you want. This is a predictable diamond pattern, which makes it much easier than I expected. Of course, a chart would have been very helpful, but I think I have it in my head now. The swatch came out great. However, I think the lace border may still need some work. Luckily, it is made separately and sewn on afterwards. I decided to start the body with the lace pattern and it is coming out beautifully.
On the family front, we celebrated by Mom's 80th birthday this weekend. We had a lovely dinner. My brother gave her a beautiful rose corsage. It was a wonderful day with just a minor shadow hanging over it. More about that later........

Does she look 80?????Never!!!! Always young at heart too.

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