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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year Ends as well as The Christmas Knitting Project!

Today is the last day of the year 2011.  It is hard to believe the days have flown by so quickly.  The weather is rather nasty, and unsafe for driving, so I am enjoying a morning at home...though there is no milk in the house and I feel edgy thinking of getting through a weekend without milk...so a little later I hope the roads are better (no ice) so I can go out for milk.

Yesterday I finished the final part of The Christmas Knitting Project (which was actually a crochet project) and this morning boxed them up for shipping.  Janus told the girls on Christmas Day that their sweaters were imminent, so I will get them in the mail on Tuesday.
Lauren's Sweater with blossom buttons

Lauren's sweater (and Grace's white sweater) was knit with Caron's Simply Soft yarn on the Bond Incredible Sweater Machine though I knit up all the ribbings on all three sweaters by hand.  I learned a good deal while doing this. I hope the girls are not too shocked by the variety!

The next part of The Christmas Knitting Project was a blanket knit in three panels on the Bond ISM and seamed as I went along.  It was fairly simple and the learning curve on the "seam as you go" was pretty narrow.  I cast on 80 needles for each panel.  I had thought that I had lots of scraps of the Bartlettyarn that I purchased from Hilda Yates at her farm yarn sale over the years, but you can see the central panel has very few scraps after all.

A big concern of mine had been the roughness of the yarn, which was rather harsh on my hands as I handknit the garter stitch ribbing around the blanket but I threw the completed blanket (including weaving in the yarn ends!!!) into the washing machine on gentle cycle with warm wash and cold rinse, then into the dryer for a few minutes on gentle low-heat drying and the blanket turned out really soft and pleasant.  I hope it is about the right size to cover legs and lap while sitting on the living room couch.  We actually tried it out on our bed as an extra blanket the night is was finished. I thought it was great, but being 100% wool, Bob found it too warm and too heavy.

Intended for Janus.  Notice the nice seams.  I like the way they turned out.

Once the knit blanket was completed on Wednesday I took up the crocheted blanket project.  I needed to finish edging the Granny Rounds, having about 20 left to crochet, then I started sewing together the strips. I made 5 strips of 15 Granny Rounds and 4 strips of 14 Granny Rounds.  On Friday while Bob was gone to help at Ben's house with Jonathan and Owen,  I turned on "A Touch of Frost" on the Netflix TV screen and started crocheting the strips together.  It took most of the day but by the end of the 4th "Frost", I discovered that I had crocheted two 15s together! Argh-h-h!

To solve the problem I remembered that I still had a few of the Granny Rounds in the satchel downstairs so I brought up the satchel, chose some Granny Rounds and sewed them into place so the blanket was all 15 Granny Rounds long.  After one last round of single crochet around the outer edge I called it a day, wove in a few yarn ends then clipped off the rest and headed downstairs to do some actual housework, something that has not been seen in the house for two and a half weeks!

Granny Round blanket meant for Laura. 

By the time Bob got home I had swept the floor, brought in a cartload of wood from the woodpile, dealt with the sink vanity delivery man, given away the warm loaf of bread and gotten another loaf of bread risen (and cooked, too), emptied the table, scrubbed it, wiped it dry and then put on the horrible but new clear plastic tablecloth to protect it until we can get a glass covering made (I say this as if it is a done deal...having no idea at all of the cost of such a thing and how stable it might be...), and I even got three days of dishes washed (a real pain with our current set-up. I don't know why I wait until there is a tremendous pile to do...dumb...) and some really tasty "refrigerator" soup made.  When Bob asked about the soup, he thought I said "garbage" soup.  Some people may think so, but I thought is was really delicious.

Bulging box containing The Christmas Knitting Project 2011 ready to be shipped on Tuesday
Inside the box I threw the leftover yarn from the three sweaters and the Granny Round blanket.  Laura crochets beautifully and she may want to fill in the holes at the conjunction of each of the Rounds.  If I waited to send the box until I had completed that it would be the end of the next Millennium, I am sure!  I am not sure Laura will even want those pretty diamonds filled in, though. I thought they looked fine empty.

Happy New Year to All!  May your next year be healthy, happy, prosperous, and one of continued enlightenment and service, which will bring real joy.

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