I have a love/hate relationship going on with the holidays. I love Christmas as the time of year to celebrate Christ's birth, getting together with family and of course as a time of giving and receiving gifts. I hate that there is a long span of time in which I must mediate between my children. They are all so strong willed and mischief minded. I personally can't understand when they claim to be bored as even when I was a young child I could entertain myself with things like cross stitch (I learned how when I was 6), reading, puzzles (I love the logic of putting together a large puzzle), playing outside and riding my bike, and sometimes TV shows (you know back when there were only 4 channels). My children can barely keep themselves entertained with all the numerous options available to them. I'm just glad we're back on a school schedule. Maybe I can get back to knitting.
Before the holidays I participated in the Alabama Holiday Ornament Swap - a kind of Secret Santa thing. I enjoyed it. This is the second swap I've done and they've both been small but easy-ish to complete (just the way I like). So because I like the ornaments I knitted here's a picture of what I sent to my secret partner.
These stockings were made with Jean Greenhowe's Mini Christmas Stocking pattern. Her pattern is to make them on two straights, but I did them in the round after my first test stocking. I did learn on my second stocking that for the bottom to look "right" to me that I needed to leave the bottom open and not cast on in a closed method like for a toe. And for the loop at the top, I cut my yarn long and then put it on a needle and finished off the last stitch as if I were finishing off a cuff. Then I took the needle off the yarn and, with the toe facing me, picked up 3 stitches to do an icord hanger. When it was long enough to do a nice loop, I put the needle back on and kind of kitchnered the end of the icord to the cuff and wove in the end. I was proud of them and hope the recipent like them as well.
What I received from my Secret Santa was WOW!!
That is a mini sock blocker and a dog tag necklace of how to do a kitchner stitch - what knitter wouldn't love those cute items?!?
And aren't those juice / water cups just the cutest? I love that not only are they super cute and fun but made out of a sturdy plastic that my maniac children can't easily accidently break them (not that they'll ever get to use one!!).
I'm also working on a Hemlock Ring Blanket in linen for my mom. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but as with all things handmade you may or may not get them done on time. My knitting time vanished on December 19 (the day school let out) and I'm just now beginning to get back into the groove.
Here's a picture of the star/flower center.
And a picture after row 73 (just to show how much feather and fan is done - it's too big to strech out on my 47" needle to show the whole thing). I've been doing 5 rows of knitting between pattern rows instead of just 4.
I'm hoping it will be more shawl-ish when it's finished.
A picture of my family in the snow this past Saturday.
They had lots of fun. It only snowed about an inch and for just a couple of hours. To me, it was the perfect amount.