Yesterday morning I wrapped up warm and braved the after Christmas chaos that is Oxford Street. I went early so it wasn't too bad, but certainly busier than the average Monday morning. John Lewis and Liberty both have lots of Rowan yarn on sale (50% off) but I avoided going crazy and came away with 3 balls of KidSilk Spray in gorgeous red shades (darker than in this photo). Feeling like this frugality deserved a little reward I took a break in the Liberty cafe.....where I spent £11 on a bacon roll, cup of tea and some orange juice. That, combined with my rail fare for the day sort of wiped out the 50% saving on the yarn.
Hmmm. Perhaps I need to study up a bit more on this financial responsibility thing.
Back to the Canada trip......
One of the things I discovered when I was home was that quite a few of my relatives read the blog. So - hello to all of you!!
I also discovered that I never need to worry about finding a home for a pair of socks again. I now have a VERY long sock list and I'm looking forward to working my way through it next year. In the interests of full disclosure I should let my aunts Sheila and Simonne that they have been pushed down the list a bit since our last conversation as my Dad expressed an interest in having some socks. He obviously catapults right to the top of the list, and gets a few pair.
When it came time to exchange gifts at our mini-Christmas the mittens were complete (and very well received) but some socks and a scarf were - well - not.
The first pair of socks just needed the toes grafted and some ends woven in, so they were completed pretty quickly. They were for my younger sister, made with a superwash merino from MiddleEarthYarns and a 5 x 2 rib, with slipped stitches on the 5 rib. (Modified HelloYarns pattern for fingering weight yarn.)
The socks are pictured here with a matching Pez dispenser.
My niece Dyl has been waiting for a pair of socks for a very long time. In fact I can't really remember when she was put on the list -- but I think it might have been February or March. In appreciation for her patience I completed this pair of socks in colourful Socks that Rock yarn. She put them on immediately when they were completed and was still wearing them when she left. (Which to be fair was the next day.)
These are modelled on Dyl's feet.
The last pair of socks were for Dyl's mom and I'm afraid these weren't finished until after they had gone back home. The socks are Opal 6 ply so went quite quickly (but obviously not quickly enough). She likes them for curling and I'm sure if she ever actually gets these ones (they are still waiting to be posted by my mom) they will keep her toes toasty on the ice.
Finally, I had decided to make my Mom a scarf for Christmas - but during the mini-Christmas exchange it was just a ball of yarn (I think it was Smooshy Dream in Colour) and a pattern.
What pattern? Well the Swallowtail of course! Yep I still love this pattern (Interweave Knits Fall 2006).
I knew that I wouldn't have enough yarn to knit the pattern as written so I reduced the number of repeats of the first chart, and then had to fudge the next two charts as the stitch counts no longer worked. Too lazy to rework the charts properly I just eliminated the decreases at the beginning and end of each row until I had the right number of stitches.
When it was finished it was teeny tiny. I was a little worried but as always blocking was magic and the finished scarf is a nice size. Not a shawl - but perfect for wrapping around your neck. Ma has reported that she's been wearing it (hurrah!) and has received a few compliments (hurrah again!).
Of course the trip wasn't only knitting. I got to see lots of family (and I've got lots of family to see!) and catch up on the latest happenings. A highlight was definitely an invitation to the annual pre-Christmas dinner that my father's brothers and sisters hold in early December. There is lots of food and drink and singing and laughing and silly games and .... well everything Christmas should be. They are a lovely, loud, loving group of people, all of whom are a wonderful testament to the gorgeousness that was my grandmother.
That's most of my trip covered knitting-wise. There is one more project which I started at home but have just finished today. More on that later!
NOTE TO LESLIE THE KNITTING THERAPIST: Hi Leslie -- my parents are near Nash Creek. Email me at thingssoolikes at googlemail dot com and let me know where you are now - I'm sure we'll find a common acquaintance somewhere! Also I'm intrigued by the Knitting Therapist tag. Are you a therapist who knits? Or is knitting the latest in therapy?