Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Miscellany

 December is nearly over.  I took Christmas off this year. I couldn't find it in my heart to decorate.  I didn't put up a Christmas tree at home, nor did I bake a single cookie.  There was no chocolate-walnut fudge cooked or consumed in my house.
It felt pretty good!
Back to the mess next year, though.  I missed the Christmas tree.
There were some beautiful sights, even without all the trappings and tinsel.

Cardinals at the birdfeeder

A snowy path

All the time that I would have spent carrying boxes in from the barn, assembling and decorating the Christmas trees, setting out, wiring, and lighting my ceramic houses, baking, decorating, and cleaning up was put to very good use.

 A pair of socks in an old Opal test colorway, and a neckwarmer/headband in DK-weight wool.
Another pair of socks in hand-dyed wool for my niece, Dawn
I found a pattern for knee-high kilt hose knit in worsted-weight wool in the Fall, 2011, issue of 'Knitting Traditions'.  I love the look of the stockings, but I don't wear knee-high socks, and I didn't have any superwash worsted-weight on hand.
I adapted the pattern, called Borreraigh Kilt Hose, and this was the first result:

The yarn is Opal Uni-color in forest green.
I wasn't happy with the way one of the panels worked out, so I got out my pencil and re-wrote the pattern, and it turned out like this:
Also Opal Uni-color in a dark chocolate brown
This pair will be traveling to Germany with me in February as a gift for my friend, Michelle.
I wish you could see them in person...I think they turned out really well.  I'm calling the pattern Inspired because it was inspired by a truly lovely design.

My adaptations include changing the number of stitches, using a different cast-on, re-drafting and changing the spacing of the cuff diamonds, then working the cuff inside-out because I like the wrong side better, using a different style of heel flap and heel turn.
If you try to knit this pattern as published, be aware that there is an error in the stitch count!  It didn't matter for my socks, but I contacted the editor in charge of errata at 'Knitting Traditions' and the correction will probably show up in the next issue and/or on their Web site.

A Silly Story...
so, I was at the store a few weeks ago, moving some things around to make room for new stock.  I reached over the counter and grabbed a stack of merchandise to put out, walked to the display-in-progress and set up the items.  As I stood back to see how it looked, I thought, "Dang, I am having the WORST hot flash EVER!"
It was an odd one, though, focused under my right upper arm and down my right side, and it was HOT!  It didn't go away, either, and I stretched across with my left hand to feel my sweater...
and then, I remembered this.

The sign reads, "Caution! Wax may be hot!"
Yes, that is a tart-warmer, and that IS melted wax in it, and yes, yes, I DID reach across my own hand-written sign, thereby dipping my sweater sleeve into hot, melted wax.
My mom was right, I AM 'special'.
It was my favorite sweater, too. I managed to get all of the wax out of it, but I killed the sweater in the process.

Soon, a New Year. I am ready.