Wouldn’t it be lovely if we celebrated Christmas the old-fashioned way? Let the month of December be the reflective season of Advent, with the focus on preparation for the coming of the Christ; and let Christmas be the celebration of that holy birth with the traditional twelve days of joy and gift-giving, beginning on Christmas Day. Of course, the religious aspects of this sort of celebratory tradition will apply only if one follows Christianity, but still, isn’t it a marvelous idea: a winter month of solemn contemplation and introspection, followed by almost two weeks of joyous revelry?
We do this in a small fashion in our home: I refuse to put the Christmas decorations away until Epiphany (January 6), the thirteenth day after Christmas. The gift-giving, not so much, except for you, dear readers. Here on this third day of Christmas, I give to you three completed projects.
Pattern: Entrelac Cowl by Preita Salyer
Yarn: Noro Cashmere Island, colorway #6, two skeins (220 yds). Actually, it was just under two skeins. I had barely 4 grams of yarn left out of 40, and that works out to about 11 yards remaining. I don’t like having a lot of leftover yarn, so that was perfect. Mini yarn review: This yarn is a single, and it tended to break. A lot. But it was soft and cushy, and the end product is so lusciously warm and cozy, it makes the breakage worth the trouble, at least in this small project. In a larger project, I can see it becoming a royal pain. However, the yarn is discontinued and, except for those 11 yards, I have no more, so it’s a moot issue at this point.
Needles: Addi Turbo U.S. size 6, 20-inch circular
Satisfaction with end product: As mentioned above, the cowl is warm and cozy and cushy and soft. It’s big enough to pull up and cover the wearer’s ears, if needed, but not so big it can’t be worn beneath a coat. I liked it a lot. In fact, I was tempted to keep it for myself, but it was always intended as my sister’s birthday present, so I gave it to her. By the way, this was my first entrelac project, and I’m quite pleased with the result. Noro, with its long color repeats, is the perfect yarn for entrelac. And, as I knitted each tiny square, I used the “knitting backwards” technique I learned at Stitches South in April so I didn’t have to turn my work every seven stitches, making the knitting go faster because I didn’t have to constantly re-adjust my yarn and tension.
Pattern: Richelieu Scarf by Carol Wolf
Yarn: Southwest Trading Company Tofutsies, colorway #921, approximately 390 yards of a 464-yard skein. Mini yarn review: Easy on the hands, no breakage, nice soft feel and drape. I have another skein in a different colorway that I’ll definitely use, maybe for a shawlette.
Hook: Boye aluminum, U.S. Size G
Size: Roughly 7 feet in length, and 8 inches in width. Plenty long enough to wrap around one’s head and neck and still leave a decorative tail to drape across one’s coat.
Satisfaction with end product: Pleased. The pattern was fairly simple for me. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to a beginner. Also, I’d have preferred the directions to have been charted, but the written directions were easy enough to follow. The scarf itself blocked out beautifully, with a wonderful drape. I was a little unsure about that intricately-detailed edging. I was afraid it would look busy or sloppy, but it blocked out nicely. This was a gift for my sister-in-law, who made all the appropriate noises of appreciation.
And finally, this. All the yarn is sorted into the appropriate bins; all the bins are stored in their cubes; all the books and magazines are on the shelves; the sewing machine is stored in the closet but the table is ready for use; the sewing notions, knitting needles, and assorted craft accessories are organized and put away; in short, OMG, it’s a craft room! Thank you to my fabulous spouse who not only assembled the wall units and set them up, he didn’t complain (much) at the cost of said wall units and fabric bins. Now all I need is a comfy chair and ottoman for sitting and knitting, and all will be perfect! Well, almost perfect. There’s still one corner of the room that needs a little help, and I have several doilies made by my late grandmother that need to be pinned out and mounted in shadowboxes and hung as decor. But the work surface for such pinning and mounting is available!