Christmas (gift) Parade

I’ve finished the first of my Christmas gifts, although I feel sort of bad for taking any credit for it at all. It didn’t take very long, and to be honest was mostly the mindless sort of knitting that just zips by. Anyway, here it is..

Last Saturday, it looked like this:

And last night, when I got home from work, it looked like this:

And this morning, it looks like this:

Annis, in Handmaiden Sea Silk, color Stardust

Happy Anniversary Clever Knits!

On Monday, the fifth of July, my favorite Local Yarn Store – Clever Knits – will celebrate its first year of business. And today, at 11:55, when I showed up to partake in the BOGO sale they are having, I was only slightly surprised to find a large gaggle of knitters waiting to get in. It was very exciting, and I got to hear some accounts of how, just last year, they were waiting on this very same sidewalk for CK to open their doors for the first time. I missed the grand opening, but I’m really glad I had an opportunity to be there for this event.

I made a few purchases – mostly really great yarn that’s too darn expensive to buy just , but also a skein of alpaca DK weight that I need to finish my Eastlake sweater – and left happy. One of the yarns I purchased was Hand Maiden Sea Silk in a lovely pewter-y color. I bought it with a specific project in mind… the July KAL at CK, which is the Annis shawl.

When I got home from the sale Alex and the girls left for the bookstore and to do some errands. While I was out, Max had decided that it was a good do-nothing sort of day and changed into some PJs, so the two of us stayed home to play. I set up my swift and ball winder in the kitchen, and began the process of preparing the Sea Silk to be knit. Max joined me and watched with eyes wide as the yarn moved from swift to winder, both tools spinning wildly, the ball growing fatter and fatter. Then he said: “Ooooh, yarn. Very very cool.” Oh yeah. That’s my boy.

Well, that’s where the good times ended. The Annis pattern starts out with the horrible, horrible direction “Cast on 363 stitches…” Zoinks! Every shawl I’ve done have been started from the point so I, as a weak hearted kind of knitter, can be eased in to the fact that a row will eventually span that many stitches. Not this time. I suppose an optimist would say that it’s all downhill from here.

I’m not very good at optimism. I’m working on it, but I’ve a long way to go.

I bravely began casting on, only to find at stitch 210 or so that there was no way I’d allowed a long enough “tail” to finish the last 153 stitches.

Rip!

I started again, and actually got all of the stitches onto my needles. But I had to count once more to verify I wasn’t going to be 3 short. This was done 5 times, because I kept losing count. In the end, I found that my initial count was correct, and I was able to move to Row 1 with confidence.

And move on I did. I knit well and fearlessly. I was surprised when I looked at my left hand needle and found only about 20 stitches left. That’s when it happened.

“It” has a name. And “its” name is “Max”. He came over to sit on my lap, as he often does while I knit. But this time, the yarn was silk, not wool (very slick). And the needles were metal, not bamboo (very slippery). And before I could move the string and sticks out of his way, his little leg got tangled and woosh!

Only about 10 stitches fell off. But they were the first row, and I have no idea how to reclaim cast on stitches that have escaped the needle. So I put it all away.

I’ve cast on again. Here’s my proof.

Now that el Boyo is in bed, I’ll try Row 1 again. Wish me luck!!