Phew! Today was a back to school/work day and I know it sounds mean, but a sigh of relief left my lips just before 8.30am this morning when DD2's school taxi drove away from the house.
I don't know about you, readers, but I find the Christmas holidays the most difficult of all the school breaks. First off, there's all the pre-Christmas preparation and the general busyness of December, putting up the decorations (and rushing out to find replacements for ones that have got broken whilst in storage), then various school activities, plus the ridiculous amount of Christmas shopping that every year we vow we won't do any more, but then go out on a purchasing frenzy anyway, or get ourselves into a state of stress because we're waiting in for a something to be delivered.
By the time the girls broke up for the Christmas holidays I was already tired. Then hubby came down with some or other virus the weekend before Christmas and didn't we all know about it. We (me, my mother and his mother) did try to get him to go to bed on Christmas Day, but he wouldn't, probably because if he wasn't in the room we wouldn't be able to appreciate just how ill he was feeling....
The weather didn't help either - so wet and rainy. It meant that going out places just wasn't going to happen and as it was so muddy, I nipped out to walk Jess when DD2 was distracted so she didn't come with me. There's visiting to be done and there never seems to be much time to get out and do anything and with the weather so dismal, even a half-hour in the park just isn't going to happen, so I think we were all a bit frazzled by yesterday.
Hence the sigh of relief.
Anyway, I went off to knitting group this morning feeling a bit tired, but quite happy, with two new projects in my knitting bag. More about those another time though as I'm playing catch-up on the blog this week.
Remember a few posts ago I was talking about the green hooded cardigan I was making for DD1? It's finished. Actually, it's been finished for a few weeks, but as soon as the buttons were sewn on, DD1 wore it and then did her usual thing of dropping it on the floor of her bedroom (there have been words spoken) so I had to wash and dry it again before taking a photo.
Here it is:
The pattern's from Paton's booklet 3737 - "Easy Knits with Wool Blend Aran". Here's a link to it at Laughing Hens. I think I bought my copy at a local branch of Dunelm Mill.
I used Cygnet Wool-Rich aran in a light green slightly heathery colour called Pine (fairly certain I bought it at Modern Knitting).
I made the small size, but with hindsight, I could have made the next size up as DD1 is now 13 and seems to be ever-growing in the bust department. I did modify the pattern a bit:
1. Knitted the body in one piece up to the armholes.
2. Knitted the sleeves in the round and then joined all the pieces together and did ssk/k2tog decreases to form the raglan.
3. Changed the button and buttonhole bands. In the original pattern, they're knitted as 2x2 ribbing strips and are then sewn on but I didn't like the look, so picked up stitches along the fronts (3 sts for every 4 rows*) and did 2x2 rib instead, evenly spacing the buttonholes.
4. Didn't cast off where it said to for the hood, but kept the stitches live on either side and then did a 3-needle cast-off instead (much neater).
I'd planned on picking up stitches along the bottom of the hood and then doing a 3-needle cast-off with the stitches at the top of the raglan (which I'd also left live) but that didn't work out so I undid it, cast off the stitches at the top of the raglan and sewed the hood on, using a sort-of mattress stitch and I'm quite pleased with how it looks.
I used seven wooden buttons I bought locally. I had a look around a couple of shops and also online, but couldn't find any green buttons that would match or tone, so went with wood.
All in all, a very easy knit and this is a useful booklet of patterns (the blue ribbed hat I made last month was from the same booklet).
* picking up 3 stitches for every 4 rows seems to keep the bands nicely flat. On the subject of picking up stitches, I didn't worry about having exactly the right amount of stitches I needed to get the 2x2 ribbing to work, but adjusted the stitch count on the next row by decreasing a stitch or two until I had a multiple of 4 stitches, plus 2 (so I could start and end each right-side row with k2).
Next time, I'll talk about the last two FOs of 2012.