Saturday, January 3, 2009

Elephants and Phone Booths

Another "holiday season" behind us - sometimes it seems like the social (and every other) aspect of Christmas is like trying to stuff an elephant into a phone booth.  Eventually, something's got to give.  Thanks to the weather, we had a respite this year, many events being cancelled due to the slippery roads and unusual amounts of snow for our usually green-year-round city.  What I didn't miss due to weather, I missed due to a bout of the flu which is still in the denouement stage as I write.  There was a lot of knitting done over the past few days as I lay beached upon the living room couch, listening happily to the audio version of Connie Willis's unabridged novel, "To Say Nothing of The Dog"...20 plus hours of entertainment with an excellent narrator.  It's supposed to be science fiction but reads more like another of my favourites, Oscar Wilde, given that the time travellers spend most of their time at a country house in late Victorian England.  

The green monster (aka The Cobblestone Pullover from Interweave) is almost knitted and is looking very good.  I was lucky to have such a simple garter and stockinette stitch project on the go since my fever-addled brain could probably not have coped with anything more complicated. The many pairs of Felted Clogs were well received and I managed to knit myself a pair as well - there is a reason these are so popular despite being quite a pain to knit - they are sooo comfortable and they look wonderful once they are fulled.  What was a loose floppy thing becomes a thick firm fabric and the colour intensifies.

During the holidays, I knitted another pair of Sea Anemone Wristwarmers in yet another colourway of Noro Blossom and was very happy with the outcome.  Herewith, the pattern, as promised.

Sea Anemone Wristwarmers

Yarn:  Noro Blossom, 1 40 gram skein
Needles:  4.5 mm DPNs or one long circular for magic loop

Divide skein into two equal balls (by length) and loosely  cast on 28 stitches (I went up to a 5.5 mm circular for the cast on). Join and work in the round in 2 x 2 rib (2 knit, 2 purl) for 3.5 inches.  Work another inch to an inch and a half in stockinette (4.5 - 5 inches from the cast on). Work one increase round by knitting into the front and the back of each stitch. (56 stitches).   Knit one round even.  Work a second increase round by knitting into the front and the back of each stitch (112 stitches).  Knit another round even.  Cast off knitwise and sew in ends. If you want the cuffs longer, you will need another skein of yarn, knitting in rib for however many more inches you desire before changing to stockinette. 

As you can see from the photo, I made no attempt to match them, preferring to believe that the chaotic colour scheme is part of their charm.  Pretty much impossible to match them with just one skein anyhow.  I divided the skein by winding a centre pull ball, hand winding a ball with the yarn held double to find the middle, cutting the yarn then rewinding each strand by turns to make two separate balls...kinda painful.  If anyone knows a more elegant solution, by all means, let me know.

Below are a few photos from our guild Christmas party - so much fun and many thanks to the organizers for their hard work putting it together and to all the fine chefs for their contributions.  The adorable lamb cake that begins this post was one of the offerings.  

Lamb cake

Seasonal headgear

More seasonal headgear

Raven snags the lambikins in the gift exchange/showdown

Table of revelers with my prize-winning
 felted tea cosy in the foreground

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