Christmas Vacation Dispatches, Part 1

My employer shuts down the week between Christmas and New Years, so I am a little over halfway through my 11-day break.  I am so grateful for this time off it isn’t even funny – I really  needed some rest.  Christmas is still exhausting in our family since we still have one Santa-believing child, which means we’re up until midnight helping my sister and brother-in-law stage the living room, and then up at 6 am when the kids can’t stand waiting one.  second.  longer.

It was a great holiday, though, not the least of which because my sister and brother-in-law are wildly generous in both food and gifts.  After the festivities, I spent Monday and Tuesday practically immobile, knitting and watching (via Netflix) a British show called Kingdom, with Stephen Fry and, oddly enough, Hermione Norris from MI-5.   I loved this show, which of course means it was cancelled fairly early on.  I was very sad when it ended.  On the other hand, if it hadn’t ended I might not have left the apartment all week, proving there’s a bright side to most everything.

Another bright side is that I woke up this morning with actual ENERGY.  This happens so very rarely that I am trying to savor it before it runs out.  This afternoon I plan on putting a good dent in my gift card stash before testing out my sewing machine, which I am happy to report was raised from the dead by a local repairman late last week.  Talk about Christmas miracles…he even replaced the light bulb in the machine, which had been burned out so long I’d forgotten there was supposed to be one in the first place.

In the knitting department…in my last post I noted that I’d once again veered wildly off-course in the “get things done” department and started yet another baby sweater.  It’s the Sweet Bunting Cardigan by Laura Chau (pattern available here, though I purchased it at my local yarn store).  And then I finally broke my streak and finished it:

Once again, I used Rowan Purelife organic yarn, which is fast becoming one of my favorites, with some random leftover white yarn for the bunting colorwork.   This yarn was a little thicker than what the pattern recommended so my gauge was off, but I’m not too fussed about it.  To paraphrase the great Elizabeth Zimmerman,  babies grow.

The pattern is pretty simple and straightforward; there were only a couple of places where I had to stop and ponder what I was doing.  I also like that it’s a baby sweater with no buttons that can be chewed off and swallowed.  There are some short-rows in the back for shaping that seem sort of unnecessary in a baby sweater, but they aren’t hard to knit.  And while I find colorwork difficult, there isn’t a whole lot of it here and by the time you get really sick of it, it’s over.  And you could certainly knit the sweater without the colorwork for a plain and simple cardigan.  The only modification I would make to this is that the pattern has you knit the front bands (button bands) at the end.  I would just add 5 stitches to each end of the body and work the bands along with the rest of the sweater; I find it much easier than picking up stitches.  My favorite part is the tie – my first attempt at i-cord, which I wish I had made just a smidge longer:

Alas, the finished sweater bears a passing resemblance to a certain Muppet.  Beloved though he may be, this was not my intent.


About Lori Allen Writes

Lori is plotting to take over the world one essay, one quilt, and one hand knit sock at a time.
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