Monday, December 26, 2011

A few days left in 2011...

...and only a few stitches left on my needles!
The last few days have been quite productive, and I'm happy to end the year with a few less bags of unfinished projects.

First, the eternal cardigan.

No, it is not finished. But I am so close...17 stitches away from wearing it, to be exact. And I could have finished it (I mean, I had the time to do it), but I definitively do not understand how to graft the collar. I tried, but not too hard, because I just didn't want to spend any more time undoing anything on this sweater. I really, really felt like just sewing both ends of the collar together instead of following the instructions, but I figured out that I might as well finish it well, and keep learning as much as I can from this pattern, so, no, that's not what I wore for Christmas this year.

I also started a R2DTuque for my man (, but there too, there is something I don't understand (the duplicate stitch part). So I put it aside.

Which gave me time to finish this hat that I had started last winter.

 Actually, I knitted one last winter, and sent it away to my friend in Hungary. Then I knitted a second one, and sent it off to Hungary again, for the daughter of the friend who had received the first one. Then I cast on one for myself, and the weather got warmer, and I started other things and never touched it again. So while I was kind of on hold with my other projects, and because winter finally arrived 2 days ago with a nice -18, I decided to get back to it, and this time, finished it in 2 days. I also read some comments on ravelry, and decided to change the needles for bigger ones after the ribs, so it is a little bit "slouchier" than the previous ones I knitted. That was a great way to see how much I progressed in the past year, because I was able to make it in 2 days only this time, December 24-26, mostly in the car as we went from one Christmas party to another, as opposed to a month last year, because I kept making mistakes and didn't know how to fix them. I think I also understand knitting better, so I knew that small mistakes would not make a big difference in the overall project, while last year, I kept counting the stitches at every row and panicked when there was a slight difference. 

But I have not been the only one knitting: my mother decided to offer me a sweater this year. We went yarn shopping a few months ago, she bought St-Denis Yarn Spring 2011 pattern book, and I picked the Dolman Aran.

It was quite a challenge for my mum, even if she has been knitting for over 60 years. Even if she doesn't speak a word of English, she can knit in English, because she understands the abbreviations, without knowing what the actual words mean. For example, she knows what to do when she sees "yo" (which she calls yo) but she has not idea what "yarn over" means. To her, yo means that to have to bring the yarn in the front, that's it. This pattern, because of its intricate motives, had a bunch of abbreviations she didn't know and she had a hard time figuring out what they meant, since their definitions were in English. She also got very frustrated that she could not find the actual St-Denis yarn, because she really wanted to make the sweater exactly as it was in the book. She ended up with some Cascade yarn, which made a beautiful job.

I love the details
I also receive a beautiful pair of mittens, Northlights pattern from the same magazine. I love that they fit me! My mum traced the shape of my small hands on a napkin the last time we met for brunch, to make sure they would not be too long. It's a perfect fit!

I think I'll attach them to a ribbon which I will pass in the sleeves of my coat, just to make sure I don't loose them.

I'm now all ready for the next few months of Canadian cold winter!

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