Above the Fray

Everything is moving so quickly now as this year races towards it's finish line and the holidays loom large before us as we attempt to get everything done that we think we need to do to assure that a merry time is to be had by all.
I, for my part am attempting to stay above the fray as much as humanly possible, for despite my wizardly status among my knitting peeps, am only human after all and am just as susceptible as anyone else to falling prey to the manic thoughts that prevail in this nation every year around this time. These are those sneaky, insidious thoughts that slip in sideways and ninja* their way into your head, while you're not paying attention and are haplessly being, ah, happy. You know what I'm talking about, those thoughts that grip your heart with panic and desperation, thoughts like, "It just won't be Christmas unless you ________, well, (I'll let you fill in the blank)"
*I have it on authority that it's perfectly acceptable to use ninja as a verb.*

So for my own sanity and to keep knitting a pleasant experience I am not knitting gifts for Christmas. I'm having a no knit Christmas in just the way Amy at Knit Think is not knitting for Christmas. Oh, there may be a scarf or two in the works, but it is not for Christmas presents, they're, aw,ah,awh, birthday presents, yeah, that's it ChristmasBirthday presents.**
**I am aware, as is Amy that Christmas is indeed a birthday celebration.**

I may not be knitting for Christmas this year, *Although I just had a notion to knit a last minute gift for someone that I am trying to resist, but I am weakening. It would be a challenge to finish before Christmas with my work schedule...I do like a challenge though, Hmmm* but I have been knitting, and not being Christmas gifts, I thought I would put you all in the loop and show y'all some of the ins and outs of what what I have been up to for the past few weeks. (Okay, months, I know.) The stuff my SnB friends know about, but the rest of you may not.

My youngest requested a pair of mittens, red mittens. I was quite surprised for rarely do I get a request for knitted items from my family. So in October when some of the local yarn shops held a treasure hunt, I took the opportunity to go on a hunt of my own for yarn for the red mittens. I have had this pattern in mind to knit for quite some time ever since I saw it in the Inknitters Fall 2004 magazine. My daughters came with me and we were able to settle on red chunky Misty alpaca for the red mittens. I tried to explain what I had in mind for the mittens and that I needed another contrast color for the mittens but my daughter didn't understand and kept saying, "I just want red." When I was finally able to show her what I had in mind, she loved the idea of the red heart shapes and chose purple as the second color. (Cascade 220, the other contrast colors are odd balls from my stash)

These are not thrummed, but the thick (I doubled the strands) yarn floats across the back serve the same purpose as the thrumms. They are so soft to slip your hand into and suppa warm. I have to make an adjustment in the pattern, the pattern is for a woman's hand and although the small fits her, the thumb is not in the right place for her small hands.

I didn't sign up for Socktober but I may as well have for I did mostly sock knitting in October and some in November as well. These I knit for the Day of the Dead Kal and I explain my thinking in this post here.

I thought perhaps you would like to see the inside.

In the summer I knit a square for a the Cure-ragious Knitters Banner. I felted the block and had it sitting on a table until it was time for the cancer walk. My cat, Hobbes fell in love with the square and sat and slept on it up until I had to pry it from under him to go. I felt bad about it and promised to knit him a wool bed of his own. Which brings us to this little bit of knitting.
Being a knitting wizard, I thought I had better live up to my name sake and try my hand at a little magical knitting, Cat Bordhi style.

or Outs?
Cat Bordhi has some wonderful cat bed designs in her book," The Second Treasury of Magical Knitting". The cat pictured in the fair Isle bed looks so much like my own cat that I thought it would be a good choice to knit for my Hobbie. Cat has a unique cast on for the projects in these books called the Moebius Cast On. If you are not familiar with the Moebius design it is knit in such a way, due to a twist in the cast on, that allows you to knit both sides of the loop with one continuous edge. It's really quite cool. The cast on wasn't difficult to learn but I will admit it took me three tries before I got it right.

Speaking of getting it right, I can't seem to, get it right, that is. I don't get scarfs. I've been playing around with this pooling color scarf as a birthday gift for my daughter Ani for, oh about a year now. Her birthday is in January and I thought I would try my hand again at knitting the scarf by her next birthday, it's not looking promising. I will try to explain my scarf woes in my next post. I'm also struggling with knitting a scarf for my sister that is now two years over due. Who knew scarfs would be so hard ? It would seem I'm not meant to knit scarves, scarves are so hard.