Now that the gifts have been given and received, I can post a few photos of what I made this year (and didn't!)
Tea towels or finger towels for my mom. These were made from the Elsbeth Lavold Linen in sage. I got the pattern from Knit Wits, a store in Northern Kentucky. There were fast and fun but I should have included a note, I don't think my mom knew what they were when she opened them!
This is a simple 1x1 rib scarf made from glorious hand painted cotton. Super soft but the pattern didn't deserve the yarn. But, I had bought the yarn from a store in Half Moon Bay, Ca and the store went out of business around 8 years ago, so I figured I should just make something with it.
Notice anything? I like to travel and go to yarn stores. It brought me peace this summer. I took an hour to myself when my husband was in the hospital and found a knitting store in Pittsburgh. They had every color of Cascade 220 on the walls, over 100 colors of the same yarn waiting for you to do something with it. It felt good just to be surrounded by possibility.
1. Don't think that Elizabeth Zimmermann, the Grandmother of knitting, was wrong when she said to pull the yarn through the top stitches on your mitten. I decided grafting would be better, like the toe of a sock, I ended up with the toe of a camel. I fixed the top but the mitten is still too narrow, unless you know someone with small, long hands-this is going to be ripped out.
2. If the shawl in the picture looks like it will be too long of a triangle and you knit it and it's too long, that's probably your fault. This kills me and I can't decide what to do. I started knitting this as a wedding shawl for Maria (last July). It's not turning out right and I hate working on it. Should I press on and finish it, even if I don't like how it's turning out-too pointy??!! Or, rip it out and make something else, a better wedding shawl? I have lovely memories of starting it in Tuscany and still trying to finish it the day of the wedding. I'm thinking they'll just be memories.
3. The last lesson: It won't save you time to wash your black, red and white fabric for a baby quilt with your dirty clothes. Yes, you should be impressed I even pre-washed, but now I need to find the time to go back to the fabric store and buy new fabric as my newly washed fabric is stained all over.