From one frenzy to another

Christmas is over and I spent both days at my parents’, first day with my cats, the second day with my sister and her girlfriend.

My parents’ dog didn’t quite know how to handle the cats’ presence. He’s used to them in the sense that when he was a puppy, I introduced my cats to him (I take them with me frequently on trips and such) but he also took a couple of beatings when he spazzed too much around them. So now he’s cautious and very submissive around them even though they couldn’t care less about his presence. I think they claim my parents’ house and he surrenders but they don’t act like dogs so he’s lost. Thankfully they frequently just lay down and nap without any trouble and nobody gets hurt, so it’s not all that bad! He was visibly relieved when we all went home though. 😉

The rest of the days were spent eating well and enjoying my family’s company. Last year, on the 21st December, my back gave out again and I was bedridden in my apartment for over 2 weeks. I missed Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so it was important to me to make up for it this year.

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My parents’ gift to me was this lovely basket full of hygiene products! Shower gel, shower scrub, body butter, body lotion, a little flask of perfume, some chocolates, Christmas decorations and a card. 🙂 I particularly love the perfume, it smells really good on me. (It’s Gloria Vanderbilt Eau De Toilette for the curious!) My sister promised me cash for the holidays, but as I plan on moving over the next couple of months, we agreed she’s going to hang on to it until the time comes when I need some extra cash for appliances. Lovely scents and bath products are common gifts in my family cause you can always use them and they don’t drain your wallet like crazy, in case anyone is wondering about ‘subtle hints’. We all smell lovely all year round thanks to gifts like these. 😉

The socks I knit for everyone were well received! I had to teach my dad that he shouldn’t stuff one sock inside the other though, cause that was the first thing he did. (I’m grateful my mom’s the one who does laundry, hah!)

I had barely finished my sister’s socks on Christmas Eve when I cast on for my new sweater. (Finally one I’m knitting for myself that I will actually wear too!) The yarn is knitting up wonderfully and I love the colors very very much. Progress is just as fast on this top-down raglan as it was on my boyfriend’s sweater, so hopefully I’ll be done with this before the second week of January. By then the temps should have dropped low enough to warrant a warm wool sweater on my body too. I don’t know what it’s like for the rest of you, but our flowers are starting to bloom…

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When I put the sleeve stitches on the holders, I worried that my bust wouldn’t get enough give and it would be too tight. I knit a little ‘pocket’ of extra stitches right beneath the arms to allow the sweater to stretch in that area purely as an experiment. I cast on 8 stitches beneath each arm for the sleeve before continuing in the round, and I marked those 8 stitches and increased them to 16 stitches every by adding 2 every other row. Then I knit a few rows plain, and then decreased back to 8 stitches per side. This did create a weird little area but it also did the trick for a fit (and really can’t be seen in that position). Unfortunately I’m bigger in circumference than my 100cm needles (downside of being a heavy and tall Amazoness) so I had to transfer all my stitches to scrap yarn, including the sleeve stitches. It took 30 minutes to transfer them on yarn and 30 minutes to transfer them back onto the needles.

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But the modification did what it had to do! I’m in my jammies here and not wearing a bra so only the top of my boobs were covered, but it was enough to confirm the fit for me. I will pick up stitches around the v-neck so it’s not as open, although my next v-neck sweater will probably be a little bit differently shaped. I was wondering about the instructions in the pattern and made a best guess. It didn’t turn out bad or wrong, but for a less deep v-neck I would do it differently. You can check out my notes on the pattern on Ravelry here.

This is still all very experimental for me, but I’m enjoying the process a lot! I can only imagine the awesome sweaters I’ll be making this time next year. 🙂

Did you cast on anything during the holidays?

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