Bah Humbug. And Happy Belated Saturnalia.

So, the holidays are over. They really weren't so bad, except that it is impossible for them to live up to all of the crazy expectations. I am wary of any event that calls for general felicity, especially during the most depressing time of the year. It's cold and dark and I'm supposed to be having the time of my life? Bah!

Christmas wasn't that bad this year. I did a lot of knitting for gifts, but also bought a few as well. About a week before Christmas, I looked at the sweater I was knitting for my grandmother with a critical eye and decided that it would not do. It was more than halfway done and in worsted weight yarn. Instead, I decided to go the totally illogical route and start a new sweater in dk weight hemp. By illogical, I mean crazy. Over two hundred stitches in every row, worked in stiff, finger torturing hemp; I must be a masochist. Everyone else who knit that pattern on Ravelry took a month to finish it. I made mine in five days. All I did was knit and breathe for those five days. I knit everywhere. I cannot tell you how relieved I was when it was finished, a cool twenty four hours before Christmas Eve dinner. Especially my hands. Please note, the picture is neither my grandmother nor the sweater I knit, just the same pattern. It turned out very well, but still quite stiff. Since it was far too cold to go outside and beat the sweater against a rock (not a joke), I put it through the spin cycle and high agitation in the washer about six times. My grandmother reports that she has tried on the sweater and likes it, especially the neckline. I'm glad that all of those short rows didn't go amiss. I also made the sleeves on hers a bit longer, as octogenarians are usually reticent to show so much arm.

On the present front, I got a set of Harmony interchangeable needles, which are the bee's knees. I'm using them now to make a sweater in soft, cushy wool. My hands deserve a reward. I've revived the Dream in Color Classy that made most of a wrap cardigan a couple years ago and languished afterward to make a cowl-y/turtleneck sweater. I don't find turtlenecks especially flattering on large busted ladies, but this turtleneck is very relaxed. I described it recently as looking like a cowl and and turtleneck smoked marijuana together. The resulting fabric is a dream, though I do have to watch for pooling and changes between skeins.

I am trying to step it up a notch in the wardrobe department, so I have decided to knit and wear more sophisticated pieces. No more hoodies for me, unless they feature incredibly chic Celtic designs and look like a million dollars. I decided this after my aunt referred to her "dress hoodie", which must be an oxymoron. No more things that look cozy. Stealth luxury is the key, like handknit socks and dreamy fibers. I've also weeded out the rattiest jeans from my wardrobe and bought some really dark indigo replacements. And an adorable pair of Swedish heels that I can't wear in the snow, which is probably why they were on sale. Still, I am trying to look like less of a slob and more of an adult.

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