Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Doing My Duty

I'm writing this today from the jury room of King County Superior Court at the beginning of the first day of my civic obligation. There are about 150 of us packed in here waiting to see how our fate will be determined over the next two days. I've got a drop spindle, a book & 39% battery power on my laptop & am ready to settle in for what I've just been informed is going to be a very busy day for the first jury pool of 2012!  I would have brought my knitting but the last time I tried to bring knitting into the court house, it was confiscated for the day, due to the potential danger caused by my knitting needles!

Last night marked the end of the holiday season in my house as I spent the evening taking down all the decorations.  While I tend to put this off as long as possible, I actually enjoy removing the decorations.  I find it to be a more thoughtful & deliberate process than putting them up.  When I'm putting them up, I'm excitedly anticipating the outcome: the entire house decked out with the tree, lights, wreath, garland, window clings, etc, etc, etc.  A month later, when I put everything away, I get the chance to really look at each item, to touch it, wrap it up & individually say goodbye to it for the year.  Then, when I look around the house, scrubbed clean of the cozy clutter of decorations, it feels very refreshing.


But there is still some holiday knitting to talk about!  This year, I knitted for my partner Dan's parents.  I like to take on only a couple of knitted gifts each year, mostly because I tend to be really busy with work during the holiday season & finding time to knit can be next to impossible.  I tried to start early this year but I still found myself frantically knitting till the last possible second.

My first gift actually started quite innocently, when I cast on for Ysolda's Veyla, after picking up Whimsical Little Knits 2 at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival in October.  I just happened to have the perfect amount of leftover sock yarn & some matching buttons so I started on them immediately, even though I knew I didn't need another pair of fingerless gloves.  After knitting on the first glove for a bit, I found myself thinking how cute these would look on Dan's mom & my first Xmas knitting project was born.

 These knit up very quickly with the only issue being that somehow, both button bands wound up facing the same direction, rather than opposite directions, like they should.  I'm not sure how I made that mistake but since the button bands get knitted first then you pick up stitches along the top to knit the hand, I wasn't about to try to correct it.  They wound up looking pretty good regardless.

Please pardon the rather dark phone photo.

It wasn't until late November that I decided to cast on for a present for Dan's dad, although it was a hat so I didn't expect it to require too much time.  And it would have flown off the needles had I not wound up working on a commercial for more than 2 weeks of prime holiday knitting season!  For anyone unfamiliar with the hours that those of us in video production keep, I usually start work between 4am & 8am & finish between 7pm & 11pm.  There are few, if any, days off before the shoot.  So Dec 6th-16th was pretty much off the table for knitting.  Once I came back online, the race was on to bind off before Dan flew home on Dec 21st!  I crammed in all the knitting I could between taking friends to the airport, getting my oil changed & all the last-minute shopping, wrapping & packing for my own trip.  An 11th hour delay to Dan's flight gave me the extra half hour I needed to bind off, weave in the ends & stick it on Dan's head for a glimpse at how it might look.  And, horror of horrors, it was too big!  But there was nothing I could do to fix it before Xmas so I threw it in Dan's bag with a gift bag, some wrapping paper & a card & hoped for the best.  And again, it didn't turn out too bad! 

See above caption.
  
This is the Quest for a Man pattern by Laura Nelkin, knit in James C. Brett Marble.  This is a 100% acrylic yarn, which is an unusual choice for me but I was enthralled by the subtle color changes.  They didn't show up as clearly as I'd hoped in the knitting but they do still add visual interest.  The yarn is also really soft & it formed a dense, warm fabric.  My only reservation is that I've worked with soft acrylic yarns that have worn very poorly over time so I'm curious to see how this one performs.

As I mentioned last time, I've got one more Xmas WIP but I won't be going into any further detail on that until it's completed & gifted (hopefully before next Xmas).


Since beginning this post, I've been placed on a jury & my first day of jury duty has ended.  Tomorrow my favorite of all knitting bloggers, Dr. Erin McNellis of Doublepointed fame arrives in Seattle for a short visit & you can be sure all the mischief will be recounted here!

 

1 comment:

juniperjune said...

xtreeem jealousy re: your ysolda meeting! and your xmas knits look great -- what a lovely man-hat!