Yarny times back home in Maine!

Hello everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the holidays, whichever ones you like to celebrate. I personally prefer New Year’s Eve but I’ve also celebrated Christmas with my family.

In my family Christmas gifts are for the children (mostly). My great nephews (my nieces’ children) got some very nice toys. I forgot how my family never overdoes it for Christmas. It was very relaxing, fun, and, of course, a bit noisy with the children playing. Dinner was absolutely to die for, with foods I’ve been craving for the past couple of years: roast beef and roast ham. In Spain I’ve been hankering for a nice big slice of roast ham, you know, the kind that is glazed with pineapple slices and cloves all over it. In Spain I just never can find a good ham for roasting even though sliced jamón york abounds. I had my roast ham with a side of roast beef so I am all set for quite a time.

The nice thing about living in a family that doesn’t overdo gift exchanging for Christmas is that you get to keep your money to buy yourself some very nice things. I have not been stingy with myself since I got here! Apart from ordering Chinese food for dinner with my mom (I have also been craving American Chinese food for the past two years) I have also been out with my mom and sister to go shopping for crafty things.

I think my biggest prize has been my skein of sock yarn by Done Roving, a small company that makes hand painted yarns right here in my home state. I found this beautiful skein that comes in its own plastic yarn bowl in a local yarn shop:

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The colors are spot on in this photograph, courtesy of the skylight in the bedroom my sister has so graciously allowed me to utilize as my bedroom during my stay here. Before you go hopping on over to the web site and shopping for some of this hand painted glory I must warn you that it is not cheap. I spent $30 on these 400+ yards of merino. I have absolutely no remorse or regrets over spending the money on this yarn. It is sooooo worth the money and it is beautifully dyed. I just thought you might like a little warning. It’s definitely a yarn to buy when you’re ready to treat yourself and splash out a little. I’m pretty certain I’m going to stash this for a while and think long and hard about what I want to make with it. Socks? An interesting scarf? A hat? Only time will tell. Anyway, on to more things.

In Spain I’ve been searching high and low for a set of interchangeable afghan crochet hooks. I have not had any luck. Here in the USA they are quite available in a good selection of brands and materials so I of course acquired the Knitter’s Pride set of hooks. I love this set not only because it’s colorful and beautifully crafted, but also because the cables can be extended for large, continuous projects (like afghans, of course!).

I’ve also been grinching along on the Knitmore Girls’ “Grinchalong” event. I brought red sock yarn to cast on some socks as well as my blue lace scarf project. I haven’t got to the socks yet but I’ve been ticking away at the scarf, which is a pattern by Inna Voltchkova called “A Man’s Scarf in Blue to Knit.”  The pattern is very clever: the lace pattern is in garter stitch and the cable is k1p1, making it completely reversible.

blue-lace-scarf

I have also acquired yarn that has come back to me. You see, a few years ago when I moved to Spain, I gave my sister a big chunk of my American stash. Last week she told me that she wouldn’t possibly find a use for some of the yarn so she returned some green wool on cones that I had bought from WEBS back in the year, I don’t know, 2002. I immediately put it to use and started the “Telegraph” sweater, a beautiful crochet project for which I had set my mind to searching for yarn for. My search ended quite quickly with my sister’s bright idea. I’ve been happily hooking this lovely thing since last week and I’ve made quite a bit of progress, as you can see:

This pullover is crocheted from the top down and I absolutely love making it. I will definitely make another in another color in the future.

So, that’s it for now. As you can see, I’ve been taking full advantage of my vacation from work as well as my time in the good old U-S-of-A. How about you?

Yay! A sweater is done!

I finished my gray cabled sweater. I’m very happy with how it fits me although the photo makes me look a lot chubbier than I would have preferred! This sweater, by the way, is size small and has a ton of ease. It’s the only size small I know that has a 46″ chest all the way around. Seriously! That’s what the designer intended for a size small.

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The pattern is by Kristin Nicholas and is called “Evergreen Aran.”

I did most of the knitting on this sweater this month, December. Before this month I had knit a little bit of the first piece, which was the back. All in one month I finished the back, knit the front and sleeves, sewed it together, and applied the collar. It’s amazing what you can do when you knit monogamously.

I’m the WIP-ing Grinch

Today for the first time in my blogging life I’m doing that “Wednesday WIP” thing, I suppose, although it’s totally by accident. I always refuse to conform, even if I conform by coincidence.

I have a bunch of WIPs and only one photo that, honestly, is kind of boring. The reason is simple: the niebla (Spanish for “fog”) is WIP-ing this WIP-ing Grinch. Oh, and I’m a Grinch because I joined the Knitmore Girls’ Grinch-a-long.

So, for the Grinch-a-long, I made a statement in the Ravelry group that I enter the event doing four things that bring me joy: 1) visiting my family for the holidays in the USA; 2) finishing projects; 3) knitting a pair of socks and 4) knitting whatever the heck I want when I want.

I am hell-bent on finishing my sweater. I have been happily and joyfully knitting away on my sweater now for about two weeks. I’ve got two sleeves done and I’m on the verge of finishing the back. I took a picture of the back when I was working on it over the weekend, on an unusually bright day, and I am happy to say that today, although gloomy and foggy, I have it almost done and tomorrow it will be finished and I will start getting the front piece done.

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I have also casted on a lace scarf for myself and I’m looking for a stitch pattern to slap onto my pair of socks I want to get started on. I’m planning my socks to be my project to take with me to the USA and I am also hoping to fly into Boston wearing this gray sweater, which will make me very joyful. I have no photos of my started lace scarf, but here’s the pattern if you’re curious about what it will look like. The pattern is very clever because it has an easy reversible cable and uses garter stitch lace to make it look identical on both sides. It’s making me think about how I could design my own lace scarf in the future.