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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Birthday rush!

I have a weird relationship with my family in general, moreso when it comes to presents - I have way more stuff than I need, and am fortunate enough to be able to buy myself the things that I want; everyone else in my family is in a similar situation. But my family is very big on exchanging gifts because That Is The Right Thing To Do; at one point my siblings started a Gift exchange, where were each assigned the name of a sibling/siblings spouse and that was who we were to buy a present for. The Gambler got my older sister the first year and she told him that she wanted 2 soup bowls from her china pattern for Christmas. That was the only Christmas we participated in the gift exchange. I hate the "shopping list" mentality when it comes to gift giving - I am OK with wedding registries, but I like to have some thought put into selecting a gift. Even worse is when I am told "Just send us X dollars, and we will put your name on the gift" - nothing like a gift for which I have absolutely no input. Since my family doesn't understand that, I have more or less opted out of giving them large gifts - inpast years I sent my parents and aunt/uncle tickets to a New Year's Day concert . This year, everybody got a flower pot containing an amaryllis bulb and a bottle of wine.
I was feeling so proud of myself, having distributed all of my family's Christmas gifts back in November (when we went back to Winnipeg for a visit), and the Christmas Cardi pinned in preparation for sewing up...when I remembered. My aunt (who is also my godmother) celebrates her birthday in early January. Damn - needed to think of something I could quickly knit up for her. Considered the Quickie Cowl; I have some chunky alpaca in the stash, so it would be perfect. The next day (Tuesday), I realized that it was my Mom's birthday! Eek! I didn't have any other suitable bulky yarn in stock, so I thought that I'd knit her a shawl. I woke up early the next morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I went upstairs to see what yarn is accessible (as opposed to being "in a box, somewhere") and perused shawl patterns on Ravelry. I decided on the Simple Yet Effective Shawl, and cast on with some sock yarn.

After knitting about 20 rows, I decided that I wasn't happy with how the colours looked (the yarn was blue and peach, and it kept reminding me of The Gambler's Da Bears Socks. So I decided to break open some handspun yarn that my previous Secret Pal Lori sent to me. It's a worsted weight merino/silk blend in a lovely periwinkle - a colour that my mom adores.
This is how much I knit yesterday (before going to work, a few rows at lunch, and an evening SnB's worth), so I have christened it The Speedy Yet Effective Shawl #1, (because I am going to knit my aunt The Speedy Yet Effective Shawl #2 out of 3 skeins of Kareoke that are also sitting in the stash) BTW- See that combination lock? It is currently driving me insane. The Gambler and I recently joined a gym, and I have only gone there together with him thus far - no need to bring any valuables, so I just hang up my coat and that is that. I want to start going before or after work, so I need a lock for the locker. I used this lock for a few years, several tiems a week. It has been at least a year since I last used it, but I thought I knew the combination. I locked it, tried the combo, and realized it was wrong. So I played around with it, tried to see where the mechanism tightens up, and managed to open it using that method. But I didn't pay close attention to what the ACTUAL numbers were - and after I re-locked it I haven't been able to open it again. I am almost 100% sure that the first number was 35 and the last one was 9. However, the middle number eludes me. Every so often I try to open it again - it's kind of like a Rubik's Cube. I hate to throw perfectly good stuff away, and I am determined to figure out the combination.

This photo gives a better view of the colour:

And this one gives a better idea of the texture of the yarn:
I added the row of yarnovers within the garter section of the shawl to maximize the size of the shawl since I only have about 300 yards of the yarn. My goal is to get both of them in the mail by January 3rd. Which is a bit past midway between the 2 birthdays. But it's the thought that counts, right?


Comments on "Birthday rush!"


Blogger Bridget said ... (Thu Dec 20, 11:32:00 AM EST) : 

Wow it's pretty! I may have to give it a try if it can go that quickly.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (Thu Dec 20, 07:19:00 PM EST) : 

The shawl is very pretty - what size needles are you using?


Blogger Bezzie said ... (Fri Dec 21, 01:07:00 PM EST) : 

Wow, you're making great progress on that shawl. I never thought a shawl could be a quick gift!


Blogger Carol said ... (Thu Dec 27, 02:39:00 PM EST) : 

I gave up on the combo lock thing for the gym. I have a keylock and I string the key on my shoelace before I tie them up...


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