Monday, September 28, 2009

great presents or my trip to crazyville

So I'm already thinking about Christmas. I tend to plan ahead anyway -- usually making notes about ideas and the like. This year is a bit more hardcore.

Thankfully I'm crafty, because being newly unemployed it pretty much will be the Christmas of making presents (with a few exceptions, mostly for the 5 children in the family). James has asked for a plane wall in his bedroom so I've already started on the picture for his wall. I'm two-thirds of the way done with a sweater for Nikki and I hope to do another for her and today I just started a scarf for my husband. (yeah there's more than that but I'll save it for another post).

This scarf, and hopefully the hat and fingerless mitts to go with it, are going to be a labor of love. I poked around Goodwill yesterday and found a sweater that was made from 100 percent cashmere. The yarn is lace-weight and given that the sweater was a women's XXL that's a lot of yarn for the whopping $3.95 I paid for it.

Laceweight is not my favorite to knit with. It tends to make me a bit batty and it just feels like it takes forever to get anywhere with it.

But even before I could cast on I had a bunch of work to do. I had to carefully take the seams apart  and then I had to unravel the sweater. On a heavier weight yarn the unraveling is probably the quickest part but laceweight, well it can break if treated too roughly. I have a ton so spit splices because it broke several times.

Because the yarn is kinked when you unravel it, I then had to wash it and reskein it onto my swift so that it could dry. That pretty much took care of the kinking. Once the skein was dry I used my ball winder to make it into a nice neat cake.

Only then could I cast on. I'm doing the Vicuna Scarf pattern by Mary McGurn from Judith Durant's 101 Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders. It's a simple two-row pattern over 51 stitches. It really shouldn't take that long to get through every row -- except for the fact that I'm using aluminum needles. The yarn keeps slipping on me. I think I'm going to have to go buy wooden needles to help out with that problem.

So beside the crazy-making laceweight yarn I'm contemplating a really crazy-making project. On Saturday we took Nikki to Toys R Us to spend some of her Christmas money -- she kept migrating to the dollhouses - the least expensive of which is more than our entire budget for her Christmas presents.

I came home and Googled and found this Web site: http://www.letsbuildadollhouse.com/index.html.

I'm pretty sure that I'm building her a dollhouse. The dude in the red suit and white beard will get all the credit but I'll get to appreciate her joy.
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