The one gift knitting project that I’ve been working on is the Sakura shawl for Ty’s mom. I finished knitting that earlier this week and it looks gorgeous. I think I might just start knitting shawls all the time for the thrill of blocking them, I really can’t wait to block this shawl. As Ty and I were discussing what type of shawl she would like we both realized that his mom seems like exactly the sort of person that would wear a shawl every single day, but I can’t particularly remember her ever wearing one. Not to say that you have to be a special sort of person to wear shawls, but shawls are the sort of clothing that give off a vibe. Like, ‘it might be cold, but not only am I warm and comfortable, I’m super stylish as well’. We’re both anticipating that her reaction is going to be beyond what she would normally have for any other knitted item. I keep imagining it as a reunion, long lost friends, and then she’ll wonder where shawls have been all her life and could I please make her twenty more.
Every knitter wants their hand knit gifts to be appreciated, and maybe some of this is creeping into my imaginings of this particular gift giving scenario. Either way, I’m exceptionally proud of this shawl and I think Ty’s choice of color (what? he know’s his mother’s tastes better than I do!) is fantastic. She’s a fan of ceramics and has a significant collection of stoneware in a similar shade of blue/green. In fact, while we were at Rhinebeck, Ty was a pretty good son and picked up a beautiful handmade bowl to give to her for her birthday, which was just this last weekend. It’s a little pricey and dangerous to ship ceramic, so she’ll be getting both the bowl and the shawl when we visit for Christmas.
And now that we have gifts for my mother-in-law so completely covered, what about the other people on my list? For Christmas each year my family does a sort of ‘secret santa’. This year we each have one person to give a big present to, and everyone else (only five people) gets little presents, with a total budget of $100. For my secret santa, I’m thinking either a super cozy hat, or super cozy socks, but the closer it gets to Christmas, the more paralyzed I become with decision making. As for everybody else? I’ve got no idea.
That’s right, instead of the more traditional visiting-of-the-family, Ty and I are going on a little vacation this Thanksgiving. This is a delayed anniversary vacation, and we’re using airline miles to get there and credit card points for the hotel, so it’s basically free!
Pre-trip highlights are:
1. an untold number of hours on a plane, and hours waiting for said plane, during which I will knit like a fiend.
2. visiting French yarn shops, and buying French yarn as souvenirs.
3. I guess the museums, wine, food, and romanticism as well.
I will attempt to be turning this:
I realized that plane trips are prime Christmas knitting time, so we’ll see how far I get with this shawl for my mother-in-law. I also brought the madelinetosh cowl and the rest of the second November sock, just in case. The few times that I’ve packed too little knitting for a trip ensure that I over pack now. Better safe than sorry, though.
Any must-see places in Paris that we might miss?
Today I finished and blocked my Dew Drops Shawl for Team Wandering Wool. I even managed to take pretty pictures of it, but we’ll get to those in a minute. When I started the shawl it was speeding along and I had no worries that I would get it done in time, I was also only working on the stockinette part, which can easily lull you into a false sense of security. As we drove up from DC to New York I was just getting to the interesting part, and that’s where I pretty much halted for a few days as we unpacked. Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of TV and subway knitting for the last week and managed to make very good progress. The shawl was looking beautiful and I was very proud of myself for being nearly done so early. So of course I started to worry that it would be too small, that it would look nicer with more of the lace ‘drops’. Unsure of myself, as I’ve rarely knit shawls, and lace is so difficult to determine size pre-blocking, I shoved all of the working stitches onto some spare yarn and blocked it, still attached to the skein. I’ve never blocked anything partway through before, but if you’re undecided about something, this is definitely the way to go.
The blocked shawl-in-progress was smaller than I imagined the finished shawl to be, and I had more than enough yarn to do the two chart repeats. With plenty of time to the end of the Olympics, and me being the way I am about knitting, I pushed on. Yesterday, as I switched to the last chart, realizing that each row was taking me about half an hour, I became a little worried. This morning all I had left was the bind off and blocking, and it’s amazing how nice the new rug was to block on (there might have been an ulterior motive to buying the rug before today).
We took our first excursion into Prospect Park to enjoy the day and take some pictures. It seemed like nearly everyone there was having a barbecue, which is now officially on our to-do list.
I present to you my Ravellenic Games Medal!
Our move to Brooklyn is technically complete, everything we own has left DC and now resides in our beautiful fourth floor walk-up apartment. We’ve spent the last few days assembling furniture, unpacking boxes, buying groceries, getting internet, and just this morning we got our very first ‘real’ mattress delivered. Of course, not everything is finished, all of our pantry is still in two large boxes, we need several pieces of furniture to replace the ones we got rid of, and a few other odds and ends are still lying around on the floor or in a box.
But today we’ve either run out of things to do or run out of energy to do them, because we’ve been mostly lazing about, wishing our new air conditioner worked fast enough to compete with the heat and humidity outside. One thing about our new apartment we didn’t know the full extent of before we moved in, is just how amazing our views are. We’re able to see the Statue of Liberty, downtown Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, as well as the really magnificent sunset beyond the shipping cranes on the New York Harbor.
Practicing my photography skills is officially on my to-do list.
I’ve just finished chart three on my Ravellenic Games shawl, the very first ‘dew drops’, which I think means I’m less than halfway done. Hopefully with most of the unpacking done and Ty back to work again next week, I’ll have more time to get back on track for finishing by the end of the Olympics. There might be some yarn shop visits in my future as well.
My Ravellenic Games progress is almost disheartening. I cast on Friday night on the metro, travelling from my last happy hour with work to another friend’s going away party. I only achieved a few rows of progress, but it was enough to consider myself started. Saturday we took a mid-day break from packing to eat lunch and I got a few more rows done as I snuck in an episode of Doctor Who. Since then? Zero progress on the shawl, lots of progress on packing.
Tomorrow we will load the truck and be officially moved out of DC. It’s sad to leave all of this behind, but I just keep holding on to the fact that both Ty and I are moving on to bigger things. Over the next two weeks I’ll have plenty of knitting time as we settle into our new home, the Olympics ending the day before orientation for school starts. As much as the Ravellenic Games are about challenging yourself, I think this shawl will always be a little part of DC that I’ve managed to bring with me to New York. My choice of color for this shawl, ‘Cherry Blossom’, and the fact that it’s a DC dyer, was not an accident.
I might have a few more of these weepy, leaving posts, so here’s a cat.
Happy Ravellenic Games!