Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas is over!

So it turns out the holidays are a lot more stressful when you're not a kid! (Who knew!)

But Christmas with my family was great, Christmas with Tall/Dark & Handsome's family was great, the gifts were all finished in time and I only had to re-wrap a few due to the cat chewing all the corners off the gifts. 

I made quite a few gifts this year, but only one really big one. I made quite a few fancy dish cloths and wrapped those up with some artisan soaps, I made hats for T/D&H and my dad, but the masterpiece of the year was a cashmere lace scarf for T/D&H's mom.

His mom is a little obsessed with cashmere. She reminds me every time we see her that she wants me to make her cashmere sweaters. It's not going to happen. I haven't finished a sweater for myself (that wasn't to promote Good For Ewe yarns) in years- I'm not going to start making sweaters for other people that cost more than my mortgage payment. This particular 50g hank of cashmere came from a trip to Scotland about 5 years ago. It's a hand dyed hank of Mongolian cashmere that was dyed in Wales by a very fancy dyer.  It was a little out of my price range but still...I had to have it. And I got it home and put it up on some pedestal where whatever I made had to be perfect and wonderful and use every inch of it! 

So it had been sitting in the stash for 5 years. It was getting to be a burden every time I went down to the stash to do some digging. And November 1st, it told me what it wanted to be. It's a very simple stitch pattern on a small hook, so while it's technically lace, it's very dense and darn it, used all but .5 yards. It blocked out beautifully and was well received.  It's not a sweater...but it's probably the nicest thing I've made this year. All 38 hours of it. 

I've got a couple new-ish WIPs to also show you today. I'm trying really hard to design a pattern a month for Good For Ewe. Some months it happens, some months it doesn't. I have a feeling this will be a 2-monther. It's a cabled & lace boat neck pullover to promote the lace yarn, which I am holding doubled so it doesn't take quite so long. I really like it, it's just not growing very quickly. I'd like to have it done for a yarn show (knitting camp) the first week of February, but I absolutely need it done by TNNA in June. I have a couple other patterns I would like to have done by then too.
And lastly, the quilts.

Last week our office offered a few incentives for people to work on Christmas Eve. They had me at "low call volume" and I took in a couple movies, knitting projects, ironing board, rotary cutting mat, loads of fabric and my new Kaffe Fasset Scandinavian Quilting book (and a cornhole board and bean bags- you never know). I felt like a dirty cheater for cutting out 2 quilts (a baby quilt and a Queen sized quilt all in Batiks- I'm so excited!!!) without my helpful Miss Madeline jumping in the middle and attacking the rotary cutter, but I'm amazed that during my long shift I managed to cut out all the pieces for 2 quilts. That would normally take me weeks in real life but with few interruptions and the knowledge that I had to stay in my cube all day, it went down pretty easily. The pink one that's already 3 rows in is for a baby who is due on January 15th but I really doubt that the wee one will stay put that long. The mom has a last ultrasound Wednesday so I need to get cooking on putting this one together. I have tons of fabric scraps going into it and a yard of this pretty, barely patterned pink. The bottom will be periwinkle paisley flannel which I've had stashed for a few years and recently unearthed. I don't think it will take that long once I actually sit down and work on it (sewing machine is too loud to bring to work, regardless of low call volume).
And here is my Batik quilt! Well...sort of. The picture of it in the book I thought was really kind of ugly, tons of blue and orange patterned fabrics that were all really busy. You couldn't even see the individual pieces that went into it- just looked like a heavily patterned mess. I decided to go with mostly pastel batiks and I think they should be simple and different enough to make a really cool but not overwhelming quilt top. We'll see- I have to finish a couple other things first. 

I'll keep you posted- this baby quilt needs to go down and quickly. 

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