As promised, here are the last couple knits that I actually finished in time for Christmas. First up is some handspun merino: 440 yards of fingering weight 3-ply (I navajo plied this one). My mother bought the fiber a couple years ago when we went to Maryland Sheep & Wool for the first time. We both were captivated by all of the lovely fiber available but less thrilled with the yarn selections. After holding out for about a barn and a half, we gave in and bought drop spindles and a bunch of fiber. The spinning bug bit me hard that spring. First, I learned why a drop spindle has it's name (probably putting permanent dents in the floor while I did so). After much swearing and frustration, I asked for a wheel for my birthday/graduation from college that year and haven't stopped spinning since. My first couple attempts at spinning were nothing to write home about but I was absolutely delighted that I had made yarn all by myself. Actually, it never ceases to amaze me when I take a project off the wheel - I just made yarn!
When you look at a picture of the first yarn I ever made
you'll see why I am so proud of my mother's present:
That's a 4.00mm knitting needle for scale.
My last present was a secret project for my husband. Given how suspicious I must have sounded whenever he came home, saying things like "stay right there, give me a minute before you come in any closer" and hiding the project under some papers in the bedroom, I am surprised that the gift was still a secret and delighted that it worked out that way.
About a month or so ago I spun up this lovely worsted-weight three-ply alpaca.
Since the yarn reminded me of tree bark in winter with its hints of silver and chocolate I looked around for a suitable stitch pattern that would evoke the same feelings. There were a couple of possible stitch patterns in my Barbara Walker books but with exams coming up I did not want to take the time to design a full pattern; plus, I needed something that I could knit while I studied. Finally, I settled on Anne Hanson's lacunae pattern and resized for my slightly larger gauge. Simple and elegant, it was just what I was looking for.
DH likes it too.