Taking out the Needles on Turkey Day

Naturally, the holidays are an excellent opportunity for crafting… as well as cooking, relaxing, and spending time with family.  However, the holidays are also a wonderful time to engage in crafting for other people which means a lot of the work I do over the next month may not show up here since I don’t want to give away any surprises!

The biggest news of the day is… I finished the entrelac scarf! I know, I can hardly believe it myself. That was done in record time, even for me. Something about those Adi Turbo needles and the Baby Alpaca yarn… it was like knitting with butter and I just couldn’t get enough. I finished it up in front of the fire last night, and was actually sad to have to stop. After a pesto lasagne dinner, I added the tastles while still seated at the table. At first, I was indecisive about what to do with the tastles, which colors to choose, etc. My mother had an excellent idea. I was wearing one of my other entrelac scarfs, the one with solid green and yellow tastles, and she referred to that look as “plunk plunk plunk,” much to the amusement of everyone else seated at the dinner table (by now we’ve all had a far amount of wine). Now, I do kind of like the “plunk plunk plunk” look but she suggested I mix up the colors on these tastles in order to bring it all together. She was right, I love the look. The random little red squares don’t stand out too much but I’m fond of them all the same- I know they’re there if nothing else! Anyway, here’s the scarf modeled on my darling sister Z:

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It really is as  soft as you would expect,a truly luxurious item. I made that pillow too a while ago, a rather appropriate combination of knitting and patchwork.

So I have a confession. I’m now addicted to entrelac. In fact, I have a pretty addictive personality in general, so I guess it’s a good thing that I channel that into crafting rather than more destructive endeavors. Anyway, entrelac is my latest obsession. So yesterday, knowing I was nearly finished with this scarf, I went to my absolute favorite yarn store, Wild and Woolly in Lexington Center. And I bought yarn for entrelac scarf NUMBER FOUR! That’s right, I can’t be stopped. There’s something about the back and forth, the devotion to each little square. Thetedium of it all somehow makes it even more gratifying. Now, my addictions may not be destructive, but they’re also not cheap so this time I opted for Cascade Eco wool and Cascade Superwash rather than baby alpaca, a lot more economical. I’m going for a blue, greeen, salmon palette:

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I’m excited. I’m prepared for hours and hours of entrelacing. Given that I have much gift-making to do, this one will likely not be finished any time soon, so I look forward to its companionship for many lovely months ahead. Who knows, I may never stop. Perhaps I’ll be known throughout the rest of my life as the girl with twenty different giant entrelac scarfs. I could live with that, quite happily.

One holiday project that I don’t have to keep under wraps is that 100% cashmere sweater that I’m making for my brother. He bought the yarn while I was working at Classic Elite Yarns this summer (and thus had a discount, that’s the only one a normal humna being can afford a sweater’s worth of this stuff). It’s their Luxury yarn Sinful. Of course, it’s heavenly (and yes, sinful) and no one deserves a cashmere sweater more than Gordon so I can’t wait to get started. So far, all I’ve done is spin the yarn, whic is no in a glorious heap in my bedroom:

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Mmmm, cashmere. Now, as I knit by the fire last night, finishing up my scarf, I was not alone. Gdon is still hard at work on his orange cashmere hat, and I think it deserves some recognition. Please keep in mind that this is only his third knitting project ever which is really quite remarkable given the beautifully consistent stiches… the boy is a natural.

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He’s on the decreasing and we just need to find some double-pointed needles so he can finish it up. My heart swells with pride.

Now, time to get back to some knitting, a bit of quilting too (I’m slowly finishing up the lucky penny quilt). But also a little cooking. I made a chocolate pecan pie yesterday and this afternoon I’m making dates rolled in pancetta with almonds in the middle. Nothing fancy, but cooking is not unlike knitting or quilting in the end. It’s all about taking a little time, putting a little heart and soul, a little elbow grease, into something that may or may not turn out exactly how you planned but which ultimately brings about a whole lot of joy.

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