We have to leave for the airport in 90 minutes. Although I’m only halfway packed, I’m caffeinated as hell, and I feel a powerful urge to post pictures of my Teacher Gifts 2007.
I generally don’t like the stress of production knitting (as you know all too well), but I like knitting scarves and mitts and such for teachers. This year I think the key to my enjoyment of the process was yarn selection. I used 3 yarns I hadn’t knit with before, and loved them all.
Two pairs of Fetching mitts in two cashmere yarns. The pale blue is Debbie Bliss and the silvery gray is Mongolian Cashmere by Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers. Both are sumptuous. The Debbie Bliss has a more cottony feel (which to me is a nice thing), while the Jade Sapphire is silky. Really silky. I think I am finally getting why the animal-fiber folks love the cashmere. (Philistine that I am, I used to think that cashmere, like caviar, was something that people liked mostly because it’s expensive.) I’ve got enough of the silvery gray to make a pair for myself, and I will. I have committed Fetching to memory. My only beef with Fetching is that I can’t seem to pick up the stitches really smoothly at the ends of the thumb opening. (Why is this a beef with Fetching and not with my own skillz?) I figured out how to make it less noticeable by starting my pickups on the end of the thumbhole that shows less on the right or left hand. (Is that tip vague enough for you? It might make sense if you are actually picking up the thumb stitches for a Fetching mitt. Put the mitt on the appropriate hand, and ask yourself where you would want a little bit of gappy knitting to hide. That’s where you start your pickups.)
This scarf used every bit of 3 skeins of Misti Alpaca Chunky. This yarn is a revelation. I don’t usually like knitting with a yarn that is this chunky, but the drape of alpaca is deluxe and the hand is silky smooth. I love the way the Misti yarns are so subtly colored. They read as solids but up close they are full of colors. The pattern I used was good old Mistake Rib, over 31 stitches (which is a multiple of 4 stitches plus 3): *K2, p2; repeat from *, end K2, p1. Repeat this row until you run out of yarn. A great unisex scarf pattern that lets the yarn do the talking.
Three skeins of a different shade of the same Misti Alpaca Chunky, in a lace rib pattern that is beautifully reversible. I did it over 27 stitches (a multiple of 5 plus 2). It’s a 4-row pattern that goes like this:
Rows 1 and 3: K2, *p3, k2; repeat from *.
Row 2: P2, *K1, yo, ssk, p2; repeat from *.
Row 4: P2, *K2tog, yo, k1, p2; repeat from *.
On both of these scarves I used number 10 needles, because they were handy.
Now I’m down to 60 minutes to pack my Omaha gear, which is mostly knitting and jeans. I’m planning to kick back with the homefolks for the next few days. The homefolks have no Internet. Oh, and did I mention that I haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet? I got ONE thing, and it’s not even for a child. So I’ll be busy this weekend, but I kind of love shopping Omaha-style. Load up the cart!
Merry Christmas everyone. Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, it’s a sweet time of year.
Throw your Santa hats in the air, like you just don’t care.