I've been a busy bee, and now I can show you what gifts I managed to eke out during the past several months.
Another yule ball - I finished just in time to pop it on the tree for a couple pics; by this time I had already gifted the two I made previously. I guess I'll have to make more for next year, since there are none left for our tree. They all went to very good folks, though, so I don't mind in the least.
My sisters both received fan-art inspired knits (for lack of a better term):
Because I couldn't just knit plain hot pads:
And these were intended for last year:
These Galadriel Socks have got me working my way back through the audio recording of Tolkien's The Silmarillion, which is epic and worth the work of getting through the chapters about geography. Just saying.
When the family visited for Thanksgiving, Mom put in an order for a scarf; that wouldn't be a problem except that I had a couple labor intensive gifts already underway, and there was no way I was letting them fall to the wayside. As it turned out, though, I managed to get the scarf done without stressing.
The only glitch was that the weather turned hot and soggy just before Christmas, and it made drying after wet blocking rather impossible. So I resorted to desperate measures: the oven. It worked pretty well, except that the center fold was hanging off the baking sheet and actually browned a bit. Whoops!
Here's why I was a bit nervous about getting to Mom's scarf:
My sister had mentioned that she'd like something pretty like a lace scarf to dress up her otherwise sporty and modest wardrobe, and I was happy to oblige with a bit of Estonian-inpsired lace - especially since she mentioned it back in January. I'm not used to being so spoiled as to have ample planning time. I shopped around a good bit and decided to go with Meadow by The Fibre Company.
I did have a bit of an issue with the color between skeins, as you can see below. I mail-ordered the yarn right after it came out, and I wonder if the dyeing had a few kinks initially. That's what I get for mail-ordering my yarn, and not paying attention to the yarn label when it recommends alternating skeins throughout. The color difference wasn't noticeable until I began adding the second skein. Even after offering to overdye it, my sister assures me it's fine, and I must admit it probably won't look bad when she wears it like a neck scarf. I'm not too worried that she's going to be wearing it with a ball gown or anything.
Despite the color issue, I'm a big fan of the yarn. It's just gorgeous, and feels amazing with a certain rustic charm. It's lace-worthy without being to frighteningly fine. (I'm quite happy with fingering weight most of the time.) I wouldn't mind working with it again. I'll just make sure I buy it in person and handle the skeins more carefully.
I think that about wraps things up for 2013 knits. I'm relishing a bit of selfish knitting at the moment, dreaming about a couple sweaters and working with some delicious yarns.
Speaking of yummy yarns, I'm still destashing some nice yarns, so if you or anyone you know is still interested in helping me take the edge off paying for my harp lessons, stop over to my destash page. When I get time, I might just add some more.
Cheers, and happy knitting!