Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Pre-Christmas Flurry of Knitting

It's this time of year that I am busily working on Christmas gifts. Last year I didn't finish until May. I hope to avoid that this year, so am choosing to do smallish projects for some special friends. We have the most wonderful people that are part of the large-animal veterinary practice that takes care of our sheep. Doug & I have taken our beasties in to the clinic for several visits, and many of the doctors have come to the farm to help in emergencies. So I am busily spinning yarn from our flock's fleeces. There will be hats from Bacchus, our ram who passed on following an injury, mitts from Arlyss, who had a vaginal prolapse before lambing, and mitts from Blossom, who had pneumonia as a newborn, nearly two years ago. All together, I believe we have seen seven veterinarians in the last year.

As you can imagine, it takes the sheep about a year to grow a fleece, and then after that, processing (washing & carding) can take awhile, too. So here I am. Fortunately, spinning well-prepared fiber which is free of debris (like bits of hay) & neps (second cuts that cause little snarls) goes pretty quickly. I don't mind having a good excuse to spend time at my wheel. The knitting has gone well, for the most part. . . except this afternoon, when I hit a little snag. As I worked on a hat, I thought it might be helpful to be able to try it on for fit. So I went to a two-needle circular method of knitting, and somehow, wound up with this little mess. I will be able to sort it out. I just needed to take a break, have a bite of dinner & regroup.

I did complete a little gift for a dear friend, who is expecting her first grandchild in January. Given Debbie's fondness for ducks, I made this little pattern from We had dinner together on Friday night & I gave her the gift, and asked her to open it before she passed it on to her daughter-in-law. I'm so glad I did. As we enjoyed the evening's festivities after dinner – a walk up the street to take in the annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Contest in downtown Seattle, the bag vanished. It must have happened in the crowd. She doesn't recall setting it down anywhere. . . and I have a photo of her with it. . . so I am guessing that somebody snagged it along the way. I do wish I could have seen the person's face when they opened it. Given the size, they may have expected jewelry or some other small treasure.

Back to my knitting. . . After I finish the Christmas gifts, I will do another pair of duck booties.

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