I've actually just finished reading this book, the second in the series. I tried reading it before and thought it was boring but it made a whole lot more sense once I had read the first book first- fancy that! This book is along the lines of Joy Luck Club only the group comes together through knitting. I enjoyed both the books but I wouldn't read them again... but I plan on getting the third and reading that one. Next up some more fluffy fiction- Naked Heat by Richard Castle- mostly because I love the show.
I've been working on some Christmas knitting. I was trying not to get in over my head and I think I have managed to do that. I should be done with everything in time. I made this shawl for my brother-in-law's girlfriend and I completely love how it came out. It calls for a worsted weight yarn but Tracie lives in Texas so that seemed a bit heavy to me for such a warm climate (yes I know it gets cold in Texas too...) so something a little lighter seemed more in line to me. I had some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in my stash so I decided to use that. Initially I had planned on doing the shawl in white with the green border but since I only had 1 skein of each color I thought that I would do some green, then white, and finish off with the green but once I got started with the green I really liked how it was going so i just stuck with the green until the end. It will be a great color on Tracie too where the white wouldn't be as nice a color for her I don't think. Anyway b/c the baby cashmerino is a sort weight obviously the shawl is a bit smaller than my previous FASC but it is so light and fluffy and just soft. The small size also lends itself really nicely to being a scarf or a prayer shawl.
Then for my mother-in-law I made a Betula Ring- apparently I am on a Carina Spencer binge! I love her patterns though. They are well written and easy to follow and the look great! I had a little bit of a hard time joining this one neatly- the alpaca kinda pulled a little in the beginning and I never was able to get it tightened back up to my liking but I am probably the only one who would notice. I thought this would be good for my MIL because it is a little more on the sophisticated side and white goes with anything. I used Cascade baby Alpaca Chunky for this and it is super soft! I bought this skein on a whim last summer because it was so soft I just couldn't resist it and it was on sale! I'm glad I was able to find a project that will do it justice.
The Carina Spencer binge continues with hats for my next door neighbor's three little girls. I made each hat from the BOGO hat duo and a Fae folk hat. You can read about the details here, here, and here. The ff hat will also have a crocheted flower added but I don't have it done yet. I ended up using the leftover white Debbie Bliss Cashmerino for the trim and the ties so I need to give the leftovers of that to Frank so he can make me a flower. Looking at them as a trio I probably should have done the ribbing on the kitty hat in white as well but it has plenty of white with the flower. I love the fact that this hat looks completely like nothing specfial laid out but when you put it on a kiddo it is super cute. I managed to get the beanie on Xander for split second- enough time to tell that it should fit it's intended recepient and to realize that the flower is so huge it needs to be tacked at the top so is sin't all floppy. The Fae Folk as always is a favorite becasue it fits so nicely and just looks so sweet. I swear though this skein of yarn is neverending- I still have a ton left. It is by far and away not my favorite yarn but it was free so... I will probably use up the rest making charity hats for work. The problem being of course that we alwasy have tons of girl hats and not enough hats for boys...but I don't think this yarn is good for much else really. At least it is washable.
And last but certainly not least is my Origami Shrug which I did finish and very, very thankfully had enough time to block before the wedding. This turned into a completely different, and way better garment after I blocked it out so I'm glad I finished it with some time to spare. I'm sorry for the terrible pictures but I had a heck of a time trying to get some decent pictures of it. It does look prettier on the model in the book than on me but I think she is about 10 times samller than me so... The color did come out very nicely with plenty of sparkle and once blocked the lace was beautiful and flowy. I sued the elastic thread with the ribbing- the stuff that you actually knit into the garment and although it helped the ribbing really did strecth out. Given the way this garment is supposed to work it didn't really matter but I might take some additional beading elastic to the waist section to try to give a little more drape and flow over my bum. The most important thing though was that my bum was covered! and that despite my dress being sleeveless I was plenty warm and didn't feel like I was showing off my flabby arms. So basically it covered in all the right spots! The wedding was so short I didn't get to wear it all that long and I didn't want to wear it outside since it was raining but I think I will be able to wear it a lot in the future for special occasions. It looked great with my dress (and no I don't have any pics of me in the dress- see what happens when you leave Frank in charge of the camera- he leaves it at the hotel...) and it was very comfy too.