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TimTamTwo

Pattern: Three Tams by Angela Sixian Wu (Tam A)

Yarn: Ella Rae Jaspe Wool in 02 approx. 36 g

Plymouth Yarn Homestead in 100 approx. 45 g

Needles: 3.5 mm / US 4 and 4.0 mm / US 6

This was my mother’s Christmas present this year. I made Tam B earlier in the year and she admired it so much I decided to make one for her for Christmas. I removed a lot of brown repeats in the yarn to showcase the blues and the greens and I’m really pleased with how it turned out, I think this is one of my favourite pieces I’ve knit so far. I decided not to block it into the tam shape as my mother prefers the toque shape and it looks lovely on her. I will probably knit the remaining tam pattern at some point.

Opus 1.

 

Pattern: Opus Spicatum by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Homestead in 100 approx. 30 g

Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Peat Moss (6277) approx. 28 g

Needles: 4.0 mm / US 6 and 5.5 mm / US 9

This was a Christmas present for my brother’s girlfriend. Both yarn were part of a stashbusting exercise with the Ultra Alpaca actually having been used in the hat for my brother as well. Luckily you don’t really recognize they are the same because the patterns are so different. Anyhow I found this pattern to be very well written and easy to follow, the patterning becoming quite natural and easy to follow without using the chart. The pattern looks very complicated and the outcome is beautiful and very sophisticated. I plan on knitting another for myself.

So things to talk about

Christmas: I had a very nice Christmas. After much searching my mother and I finally found a carol service in Boston for Christmas Eve so we managed to drag my father along to the Old South Church. It was very enjoyable and not very religiousy which was good for us. Unfortunately we were sat right next to the low pipes of the organ and above the choir and percussion so the acoustics were a bit weird at times but over all very enjoyable and we’ll probably do it again in future years. Christmas day was enjoyable, I got a huge amount of books and the slippers from my brother which I sort of picked out but none the less very cozy (wearing them right now). It’s been lazing around for the past few days which had been nice. I’m not going to see any of my friends on this trip but I don’t usually see them so it’s not a huge loss.

Knitting: This is my knitting blog after all. Both of my hats for my brother and his girlfriend went over great, I need to post about the girl friend’s hat. I also finished the hat for my mother yesterday which I have to admit came out beautifully and is probably one of my favourite things I’ve knitted so far. I read on someone’s blog that their family has a tradition that they finish a project (usually something to do with a hobby) on New Year’s Eve and start a new one on New Year’s Day so I’ve decided that I like this tradition and I’m going to finish my Wisteria Vines lace scarf and then start the Silky Gretel. i think it’s a nice tradition and has the plus of forcing me to finish this scarf which I have now been working on for over a year. I finally calculated how much of that french yarn I have. I only have just over 700 yards as there’s about 141 per ball. Unfortunately that isn’t enough to knit the Sedum with it which I was hoping to do but after some ravelry searching I came up with the Shalom cardigan which I can add longer sleeves to and I think would go beautifully in the rustic red. In terms of knitting resolutions for the new year. I want to knit the two shawls I have lined up and do the Christmas presents that I have picked out and not leave them too late this year. I know for sure what I’m knitting for my brother but the gifts for my parents are still a little shaky. I also want to knit myself a jumper, owls to be particular seeing as I have the yarn, also I want to use up the yarn that I have and not buy too much yarn that I  don’t need.

In terms of other resolutions, I am going to get back to the running when I go back to school, I know now that if I stick with I can do it and I have almost 7 months to make it happen, I want to be in shape! Also get over my fears in terms of failure and schoolwork, etc. I am actually going to go see a therapist tomorrow to talk about it and I hope this will be a foot in the right direction. I want to work hard for once and feel good about how I’m doing at uni and not terrified that I’m not working hard enough. This also goes for working on my dissertation. I need to check tides and really keep on it all. Also despite a huge amount of work for archery coming up I need to give my committee more responsibility and/or make them give me a breather so I can focus on things like my dissertation and coursework. But most of all I need to remember that it is never too late to try something new and that if I really want something I can’t let anything especially fear stand in my way.

I’ve been doing the usual at home busy-ness. Already been the dentist (cavity am going back on monday to get it filled), doctor (twice, one more visit to go), etc. I have finally tracked down yarn for my mother’s Christmas hat. The shop in town was closed yesterday so I had to try a new one. The first one I tried was closed and seems to be actually closed down, which would be sad. The second one had a good selection and the woman there was very helpful when I explained what I needed. I ended up getting Ella Rae Jaspe Wool. There were only two balls left one of a blue-green and the other of a purple/red/green/navy which is very pretty so I grabbed them both. I’ll find something to make out of it. I have photographed the yarn so I will cast on tonight when I have some free time. There is almost no way that I will finish it before Christmas but that will have to be alright. I”m also finally blocking the opus hat so that should be done tomorrow and I can take pictures of it before Christmas day. I did the thing where you roll it in towels and press the water out, it really works, I’ll have to do that for other projects.

In other news I went to see Mama Mia in Boston last night and it was fabulous. I really enjoyed it. As much as I love the movie, seeing the musical has something very special about it, something that really touches you when you’re there. The actress who played Rosie was also really really good and got the biggest applause at the end.

Now I need to go help my mother cook.

I made it home last night, my bag unfortunately didn’t. I should arrive sometime soon, I hope and not in the middle of the night as I’m exhausted. I have dentist and doctor appointments tomorrow as well as yarn shop pursual to find the yarn for my mother’s hat.

It snowed today, as in frozen precipitation in the air. It didn’t stick or anything but it was glorious none the less. We also had a bought of freezing rain which was actually quite fun as it was big balls of stuff bouncing all over the place. More flurries are predicted for this afternoon/evening and then heavy (for the UK) snow on Saturday, so here’s hoping it doesn’t affect my flights out of Edinburgh or London. Actually looking out my window, there’s a little bit of snow coming down right now. If anything this makes me feel more Christmasy, especially when I was walking home after the freezing rain and all the streets are white, it looked like winter. I have my fingers crossed for a white Christmas this year. As I said before I can hardly believe I’m going home the day after tomorrow. My taxi is booked, my laundry is drying as we speak and all importantly, my Xmas cards have been written. Here’s proof:

Last night was the KnitSoc Christmas dinner which was a lot of fun but also more money than I would have liked to have spent, but entirely worth it I might add. I’m meeting up with a friend this afternoon for hot chocolate and then there’s the school of biology mince pies and mulled wine do which I’m planning on stopping by. Tonight is the MusSoc Chorus concert and I really need to go as I know a few people in the concert so that will be nice. And then tomorrow is packing and some dancing in the evening. All in all a very busy few days.

Grapes from Odessa

Pattern: Odessa by Grumperina

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in 13 Grape approx. 44 grams

Needles: 3.5 mm / 4 US, 4.0mm / 6 US

The final acedemic family hat not including the BlueCap which is not finished yet. Another really nice pattern it is clever and wonderful, the second thing I’ve knit from this designer. It worked quite well even with using a lighter weight yarn than called for. The Debbie Bliss worked up to a soft yet sturdy fabric and I’m really pleased with this as is the giftee.

 

Hurricane Claudia

Pattern: Hurricane Hat by Andrea Goutier

Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic in Lipstick approx. 33 grams

Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7

The second hat in my week of power knitting. I love this yarn it ends up being so soft and lovely. I am not sure if it was the greatest choice for this pattern as I think it lacked the stitch definition needed to make the swirl really pop. It was an easy enough pattern to follow though the way that I made the decreases could have been easier. If in the future I will do decreases in this sort of pattern like those found in the Odessa hat. None the less, the giftee loves it so job well done.

 

 

Well I can’t believe that I’ll be going home in just three days, in some ways it feels like a long way away right now. I have finished all my christmas knitting that I actually have yarn to knit. The BlueCap will be finished in Jan but I successfully got all three other academic family hats done, the second of which I need to post about and should do later today. I gave them on Monday and they all seemed thrilled with them. That alone makes it all the worthwhile. I miraculously didn’t run out of the Ultra Alpaca on the Opus hat and I finished that last night. I will block it once I get home as I don’t think I have enough time to block it here and I have mildew growing on the floor in the corner and I’m a bit leery to do anything with wet stuff right now. Really need to tell someone about that, I only noticed it last night, it’s because the windows are having huge amounts of condensation, I think it might also be due to the fact that I have no heating in my room. Anyhow, more about the knitting. So I’ll do the TimTam for my mom next week, I’m going to have to make a last minute yarn run but the actual knitting shouldn’t take long and I won’t need to block it for her as she likes the beanie shape more than the tam. I’m not decided on what yarn is going home with me yet because I simply don’t know what to knit after I’ve finished everything. It’s between the Gretel and the Jaywalkers, both of which have been on my to knit list for a long time, I think I should do Gretel first because I have been putting off knitting that for the longest time and I’ll be some good use out of the actual knitting object once I get back to Scotland.

In other news, the archery club dinner went really well last night though we had some people cancel at the last minute and they need 24 hours for a cancellation so we still had to pay for them. It was sort of annoying because it then goes down to me to decide what to do and I just wasn’t in the deciding important things mood. I’ve come down with a cold since Monday (hopefully not mildew related) and just wasn’t feeling up to things last night. I’m feeling better this morning, no headache but I’m hoping I’ll be better before heading home.

Amanda in Amethyst

Pattern: The Amanda Hat by Gina House

Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Aran in 682 Amethyst approx. 68 grams

Needles: 5.5 mm / US 9

This is one of the first in my final push of Christmas knitting. I originally bought this yarn to make another Crofter’s Cowl for my academic daughter and then I gained three more children and as I knit for all my children I had to be creative with my pattern choices. I enjoyed knitting this, the lace is a bit strange at first but you get used to it and it was a very quick knit. Despite the laceyness of it, which I think is down to my yarn choice, it does make it extra thick and seems quite cosy. I hope the recipient enjoys it. I definitely recommend this pattern and will think of using it again in the future.