I definitely feel like I'm getting better an kitchenering. As with most repetitive tasks, if I can find the groove -- the pattern and cadence -- I could probably do it all day! Oh, I'm so happy with these socks and I can't wait to get 'em off in the mail. Thanks, Mim, for a great pattern (link on her sidebar, along with other great patterns to try!); I'll definitely be making more of these!
So, I think I've responded to all the birthday emails and comments -- if I missed one, it's not because I didn't appreciate your good wishes! Thank you!! There's a comment conundrum 'round here. I love 'em, I even turn on the red light occasionally, but I'm not always very good about responding. Time shortage, more than anything; choices have to be made, something falls by the wayside. Poo. I've heard of people getting paid to blog -- it's Big Business! -- but don't think I've ever heard of anyone getting paid to blog about knitting. I'm first in that line, okay?
I had a wonderful assortment of birthday cards -- nearly half had picture of old ladies on them. Norma sent the one with the "coven," along with some witch's brew and that adorable pepper shaker. She's got me pegged! I love it!
So, on Sunday, I started off by baking my own birthday cake. I followed that up by starting a big pot of Knitche's Chili All Day! It's chili weather!! The big finale was a double-batch of chocolate chips cookies -- some to take to work as my birthday treat, some for Ali to give to a friend that shares my birthday, some to take to Mom's with the chili and cake. I didn't spend much of that day in my PJs because I was out of cumin... One of my sisters didn't think it was right that I was doing all that work on my birthday. The thing is, I like to cook, but haven't done much lately and to take nearly a whole day and just whoop it up in the kitchen was really nice! I'm going to do that more.
One more pic... Ali gave me the 2006 Knitting calendar, and I bought Handknit Holidays for myself from Knitpicks at what I thought was a very good price. I saw this book at Cara's last month and decided that I had to have it.
I spent a good deal of time with Excel over the weekend, charting the shrug. My jumping off point, as you may have gathered, was Shirley Paden's Cabled Shrug in the Winter 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. I kept her edge designs, but replaced both the zig-zag/bobble pattern and the center design that it flanked. The new center is a triple-diamond repeat that I saw on a pillow in a magazine and then hunted down in a Barbara Walker book. The zig-zag is replaced with a snaking cable from a Harmony book -- I didn't want any bobbles.
At some point over the weekend, I did a google search for Shirley Paden (and maybe the shrug) and came across a blog (neglected to note the name) that commented on the appeal of this shrug, but likely frustration when it came to the actual wearing and trying to keep the thing on your shoulders. I'd always imagined myself (because I'd kinda like one of my own after Mom's is finished) all snuggled up in my chair, wrapped in a big, cabley, snuggly hug of a shrug, but undoubtedly I'm going to need to run and answer the phone/door or want to make a sandwich... get out of my chair. I concluded that perhaps some minimal shaping at each shoulder would help -- some short-row kind of magic that would make a bit of a curve around the neck-ish. This is where the arrival of Handknit Holidays in my mailbox is somewhat serendipitous because there is a cabled tree skirt that uses short rows to make it curve around the tree trunk-ish. Yeah! So, I've fiddled more with the Excel file, a calculator, printed pattern pages, a pencil and a legal pad, and now I'm ready to cast on "Shirley Shrugs" -- an experimental shrug that I'm knitting for my Mom for Christmas!! Heeeee!