Yes Greg, that means knitting. You will just have to glance through the photos, no need to actually read anything. See how nice I'm being to you.
Back in December Sunny saw a pattern in the holiday Interweave that she thought was adorable. I had looked over the boot toppers and thought they were adorable, a good practice piece for colourwork but couldn't think who to make them for, so this was perfect. We went to Flying Fingers to look for yarn and I decided on four colours of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport Weight. Checking yardages I silently figured I could make another project with these colours for her.
Once the discussion of flying east in March for Greg's party began I started on the boot toppers. They went quite fast, except for the duplicate stitching. This too was a new technique to me. Very self explanatory, but hard to get it looking quite right.
Since I had my four colours I had to decide the order I would use them, writing notes on a copy of the pattern writing earth = boysenberry. Knowing that Sunny thought she like the Mallard the least I determined that would be the inside ribbing. Also knowing she adores purple, that became the background of the outside. Though the charting was really simple it took three tries before I actually got it right on the first cuff. Luckily it was a small project. I am quite proud of my floats on the wrong side which is why you are being subjected to a photo of that.
Also on the list for completion by departure time was a leg warmer for Lindsay's bad leg. I had scored some lovely Mission Falls 1824 superwash wool in navy which was his first choice of colour. This stuff knits up like a dream and would make a fabulous sweater for winter. Done on size 7 needles it make a lovely firm fabric. This pattern was done on the fly with my own made up numbers.
As I turned the corner toward my departure I challenged myself to substitute the colours of the December Lights Tam from the same issue. The design calls for 8 colours. I had four to start with from the cuffs, so the ransacking of my stash began. TGF had never seen the inside of my wooden chest before this and hadn't realized how stuffed it truly is with yarn. She shook her head, saying "It's like I'm living with a crack addict. You have the stuff hidden everywhere." I want to assure my readers this is not true. There is no yarn in the bathroom, kitchen, office, or laundry/mudroom. It is true there is the chest, a small basket, a hat box, and bag of yarn in the living room. And two plastic drawers in the parlor closet. And one plastic drawer and two smallish bags in the bedroom. But there is not yarn everywhere. Honest.
I hemmed and hawed over colours for at least two days rearranging them, subbing one or two out for some other combination. In the end I decided to use only 7, not 8 colours, that I would use one of the "greens" twice. Again I had to scribble things like Rose = 7804, Red = Boysenberry, Olive = Navy and so on. Amazingly I made few mistakes and tinked very little on this project. I also worked feverishly on it as I started it on a Tuesday and was flying the following Thursday. In the end I used the four Nature Spun colours, some of the Mission Falls Navy left from the leg warmer project, a bit of Cascade 220, and some gorgeous almost aqua green yarn that I have no idea where it came from or what it is other than a great colour. For the ribbing I used a size 2 needle and for the body size 3.
The beginning ribbing made my heart sing as I felt the colours blended perfectly. As I began the next section on day two of knitting I doubted my choices. A lot. With a worried heart I boldly continued though I was really unsure that the colours were working but I shouldered onward.
Suddenly, the pattern began taking shape and I thought, "Well it's passable. And moms are great about loving what you do just because you did them regardless of how good they are."
By the time it was almost done I was giddy with happiness. No it's still not perfect in my estimation but I was so pleased with it overall. Mostly the colours work, I really enjoy doing colourwork, I made my deadline. It was a win-win all around. Next time however I will weave ends as I go because damn there was a lot of weaving to do! Most rows had two colours, colours where changed every two or three rows. I wish I had taken a picture of the inside because mostly my floats are gorgeous.