Oscar knows how to savor things.

This has been a lovely holiday season so far. I don’t usually like the holidays that much. Most years, I’m stressed out about what presents to give people, clamoring for time to knit things for others and some for myself, and the usual family quibbles. This year, some of that stress was assuaged when my family decided we would draw one name each and get a present for just that person. I like this for multiple reasons. We over-commercialize the holidays, and focusing on just one person means that you can put more mindfulness into the “perfect” gift for that person.

This year, I drew my dad. Last year I knit him socks, and since I think that is about the only thing I could knit that he would wear, I decided it would be a non-knitting year for me and the family present. Even less stress. Although, I’ve seen so many cute hat, shawl, accessory patterns lately (and have designed a few myself) that I would have been nice to draw my mom, sister, or brother’s girlfriend. They’re the ones that really appreciate the handknits.

Besides family gatherings, I’ve also been socializing a lot. This year I’ve made a lot of great new women friends, both knitters and non-knitters (but be sure I’ll try to convert some of those non-knitters) and I’m very grateful for all of them. I’ve been to quite a few potluck/gift exchange gatherings, double date nights, knit nights, and old friend reunions. I’ll be making these cookies for another potluck tonight, and they are really delicious. My extrovert self is supremely happy.

As for knitting news… I just bought the pattern for the Stripe Study Shawl after seeing the lovely one recently knitted by Erin. This shawl is designed by Veera, who also designed the Still Light Tunic (aka my favorite finished garment) that was my NaKniSweMo challenge.

I’ve been working on the Sky Sweater. I love it so far. I’m worried about the potential neck itchiness factor with the turtleneck and the Creative Focus Worsted together. I’m going to wash the sweater with conditioner when done in hopes of softening it a bit. Any tips? I’m three needle sizes smaller than the recommended to get gauge. I know I’m a loose knitter, but this is CRAZY. I know it’s me too, because the yarn’s ball band has a size 7/20 sts over 4 inches gauge and I’m on a 3 to get 22.5 in 4 inches. Sheesh. Knitting any tighter than I am hurts.

I’m enjoying the construction of the sweater. The horizontal band is really fun. I wasn’t sure how it would work in the pattern, but then I got there and it all made perfect sense. The pattern has a substantial amount of shaping, so even though it’s stockinette, it hasn’t been boring at all. I think it’s going to be extremely warm, which is a plus.  My fella likes to keep the heat on 60 degrees aside from space heaters to help in the rooms where we spend the most time. Really, all my yarn purchases are just a way to help the planet, right? Do you think we could get the government to subsidize this in some way? Hmmmm….

What do you think?

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