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The Belated Christmas Gift

January 15, 2010

"It's Thursday," I panted, running to get clear of the airship before it hit the ground, "and I think we've got a situation..."  "Thursday Next: First Among Sequels" by Jasper Fforde ♦♦♦♦♦

Note to self: Just because I'm not writing blog posts doesn't mean that I'm not reading. My list of last lines goes on as far as the eye can see....

Seriously. I have no idea why I'm not writing more often. I mean, yes, I work now and when I'm not working I'm either recovering or jamming in all my 'other' places to go, but still...

Dear Blog Readers and Bloggers Whom I Read: I've been lazy. I read your comments and your posts and think "I'll just mark this and get back to it and say thanks or leave a comment" but never get back to it. I still enjoy spending time with you and I want to change my lazy-arse ways and tell you that. And do it sooner rather than later.

At Christmastime we try to give two gifts to each person in the family. They don't have to be major gifts and we have a small family so it's not a burden or excessive in my opinion. But The Girl is soooo easy to buy for. She's a chip off of the ol' block (that's me, the Ol' Block) in that she's a fiber lover and has that "creative gene". This means that usually each Christmas I end up with a bucketful of things or ideas for her and I'm scrambling to come up with the second gift for her husband and other members of my family.

This year I really held back on Girl gifts. I really, really tried not to over-do it. I was SO successful that when I began wrapping presents I had THREE for Lifesaver and only ONE for The Girl. I seem to have overdone the not overdoing it part.

I discovered this, of course, as I was wrapping gifts to pack & ship to the family. So I dug around in my sewing closet and found a little (and notably lame) unopened something that was craft-ish & wrapped it with a note that said basically what I've just told you about overdoing the not overdoing it. I taped a piece of yarn to the note with the promise of a make-up non-lame gift after Christmas.

Spring Beret TopI present to you the Christmas Spring Beret. It was a Christmas gift. The pattern is Spring Beret (Ravelry link) by Natalie Larson.

My clever naming skills know no bounds.

Knit from Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, this worked up fairly painlessly. The yarn was a bit splitty so it wasn't a 'no-looking' knit.

Spring Beret detailI wish I could figure out a 3-stitch decrease (shown here as sl 1, k2 tog, psso - non-knitters this will be short; stick with me) that didn't have that diagonal 'rib'* in the center of it. I'm sure there's a way to make a vertical rib, but it's not coming to mind.

*Actually, it looks more like a spine than a rib to me. Either way it's pointing 'over there' and I'd like it to point 'up there'.

Spring BeretI got sneaky. I trolled The Girl's Ravelry queue and found a pattern that she said she wanted to do.

Her comments on her listing were:
I looove this, but I don’t think I’m skill-ready for it yet. Also, wouldn’t make it with 100% cotton; want it to have some stretch & memory to it. Colors: med blue, winter white…nothing too dark (want pattern to show)

What's a mom to do? Okay, so this mom isn't really all that quick on the uptake with hints usually, so a straightforward "I want this. Made in these colors." is perfect for me!! (Hint to The Girl: This ploy could work again.)

The Beret (okay, slouchy hat) was well received - phew! - and the Twitterverse saw a picture of her wearing it. I included an un-marked-up copy of the pattern when I sent it and just yesterday The Girl tweeted a picture of her OWN version of the Spring Beret - and I do believe that she is skill-ready for the knit. It looked great!

(Yet another Hint to The Girl: If you gave me permission to lift the pictures, I could post them here for the world to see.)

A couple more thoughts to share about this knit: I was inordinately pleased with myself when I figured out how to block the hat after it was finished. 97 cents bought a whole package of balloons - I just got the hat wet (well, blocking wet), blew up the balloon part-way, stuck it inside the hat & continued blowing it up until it "fit" the hat. I'm thinking this wasn't rocket science, but my solution seemed pretty clever to me!

I have found what might be the ultimate cast-on and bind-off techniques (those are links to YouTube videos). Jeny Staiman is the genius who is being credited with 'inventing' these techniques. My hat & sock knitting (what there is of it) have already benefited from these new tricks. They're great, they're amazing, and I'm sure there will be some sort of knitting Nobel heading her way.

My sweet Puppy-Butt had her 15th birthday last Sunday. We celebrated by opening and sharing bites of a summer sausage with her. She's nearing the end of her run and Mr. W. & I are very sad that some day fairly soon she'll be leaving us. But although she's moving much more slowly, she still waggles her butt when I come home from work, she still gives us kisses and snuggles and helps us with the surplus summer sausage situation when it arises. It's not the end yet, and we are appreciating every minute we still have with her.

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permalink 3 Comments:
At 1/15/2010 2:54 PM, Anonymous gimpy cat Babbled Back:  

Im glad it was bites of a sausage you were sharing with your fur baby and not doggy treats!!! Im glad you still have her and she can still wag her butt when you come home.

Your hat is beautiful, the colour is perfect for the design to show and the name you concocted. I cant knit to save myself so I admire your skills.

Glad you have posted, I check in here often ;-)

At 1/16/2010 4:06 AM, Blogger Crispy Babbled Back:  

Hey not to worry about commenting/e-mailing and all that other stuff. That's why they invented those counters, so we know that 300 people read the silly blog LOL.

Great blocking tip and cut hat :0)


At 1/16/2010 11:20 PM, Blogger Linda Babbled Back:  

Hey T, I loved your hat and the story about not over doing it! That sounds like something I would do...Your balloon tip is great!!! I know it's not rocket science but a very cheap and easy tip...thanks, I'll use that one soon. Hugs, Linda

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