November Musings and Goodbyes

I hope everyone's had a wonderful November.  It seems to have gone by in an instant.  One second I was soaking up the remnants of the summer sun, wondering when the peak of red and gold and orange leaves would be, waiting to feast on Thanksgiving and give gifts on Christmas, to what seems like the first day of spring after a long winter with ugly brown leaves scattered on wet pavement, but with out of place Christmas lights flickering at 5 PM when the sun goes down.  It's an odd day today for the last day of November; instead it feels like a March morning,  a day to feel the humid 70 degree air on bare arms, discarding scarves and hats we've disguised ourselves with all winter; instead we're putting out Christmas lights.  It's weird to have these warm days in late autumn on the East Coast.  As a child I remember November being cold, greedily wrapping myself in new sweaters and winter clothes that I'd soon tire of in mid January; then into college when it turned into a month of monsoons, and so many classes were cancelled to campus floods, much to our delight; leading up to last year when Christmas Eve was 65 degrees on the East Coast, and 50 on the West.  (I dreamt of a weird Christmas.)  But for most of the month it's been chilly, which has brought out a strong desire to work on large, luscious blankets, but those aren't gifts, and now that it's December, Christmas gifts are a priority.

(c) SlippedStitchStudios

I spent November making stitches here and there on gifts, but I procrastinate Work Better Under Pressure so these next weeks are going to be busy.  Gifts have been completed in secret, small victories which have allowed me to indulge and work on things for myself during November.  Mainly it's been a Christmas bauble (see here), a Weekender Blanket with self-striping yarn, and progress on my Nordic Shawl I abandoned in July, which must be further postponed.  It's a shame too, as I'm almost finished and have plans for the leftover yarn as well. πŸ˜‰

Here's to November 2016!  πŸ»

And here's to December 2016, for which we have planned a project called the Mad Hatter Project because I must be mad to think I can knit four hats before Christmas.

Here is progress of the first:

This is a practice piece because I don't like to gauge, but also because my last stranding/Fair Isle hat came out like this:

and I want to make sure it doesn't come out looking that way.  I want to be sure I can knit Fair Isle correctly and that I'm not doomed to make prettily patterned pointy hats.

It also could have been because Gretchen, the above hat, wasn't blocked.  I found this tip:

Properly tensioned floats, when seen from the wrong side, should look like little swags or "smiles."  The extra slack you build into the floats usually disappears during blocking, when your knitted fabric events itself out. (x)

I'll be sure to block this one, and it'll work better with this one than with Gretchen because this one is wool.  I'm concerned my tension might be too tight, but for now all the stitches are squeezed together on the needles and I can't tell if they're tight or just squished, so hopefully blocking will help.

Now let's welcome December with the best holiday advertisement I've ever seen:

πŸ’— OPH


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