And, finally, I knit my grandmother a lace stole: This was the last of the Christmas knitting to be completed - there was definitely some stress there as I was finishing the second half and grafting it the day before I flew home. The grafting? Major hassle and I can definitely see the line. While I like the concept of identical ends, I don't know if I can be bothered with that in the future. Someone remind me I said that as soon as I cast on something that will require it...
Project Stats: Waves of Grain Stole
Yarn: Zephyr Wool-silk, colorway Curry, purchased at Acorn Street.
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony bamboo straights, size 4.
Time to knit: October 15 - December 20, 2008.
Modifications: Aside from making it shorter (only 52"), I also added extra beads on the first row because I misread the chart and thought that the "b" meant bead when it actually meant knit through the back loop. So, I repeated that error on the second half, and I think it's nice actually. I would do it again - it adds extra weight to the end of the stole and it's shiny.
Impressions: This was fun! I really enjoy knitting lace even though (or perhaps because) I do it fairly infrequently and generally complain about it when I'm not physically working on it. I decided that I wanted to knit my grandmother something nice this year, and I had this yarn laying around from the Swallowtail Shawl I made my aunt (her daughter) last year, and it was a match made in heaven. The Knit Picks Harmony needles are great for lace - nice sharp tips, not too slippery. The only problem, and this is likely just me, is that they're 10" and I prefer 9" because I knit with my needles propped on my stomach and 10" is a tad too long. But, I got used to it. You can get a lot of lace out of a skein/ball of Zephyr. I believe I started with 4 oz, knit this and the Swallowtail, and still have a ton left. Probably enough for another thing of similar size, which makes Zephyr an absolutely great deal. I think I paid $17 for the ball and that's a lot of bang for the buck!
My only real issue with this was that I had a tough time with the grafting. It was completely nerve-racking the entire time (almost 2 hours) because I was SO worried about screwing it up/dropping a stitch/not lining it up/etc. Part of that was because I was finishing this close to Christmas and I knew there wasn't really any room for error, but I think it would have been stressful regardless. And I thought grafting was supposed to be invisible, and although my line of stitches matches really well and looks like perfect stockinette, there is definitely a shadow there that I wish wasn't. But, it's certainly not something that detracts from the piece and maybe it's just an inherent problem with grafting in thin, light-colored yarn? Feel free to reassure me on this, or contradict it - if I need to figure out a better way to graft I'd like to know now before I screw it up again!
My grandmother loved the stole, and was totally impressed with it. I'm glad that she liked it - I'm always really happy when people like and appreciate the things I knit for them. I knit this for her because I knew she would both appreciate it and use it, so I'm quite satisfied.
Oh, and these photos, with the actual snow, were also taken when I was in PA, when it snowed again just before I came back to Seattle. The weather was really all over the place...
So ends the parade of Christmas knits - now onto the more current projects, although there will still be gift knitting involved!