Each year, at Christmas, my family (or as many of that can) travel to one house to enjoy the holiday together. Thank goodness I am not hosting Christmas this year. I hosted last year and it was a ton of stress and work! (admittedly, some of the stress could have been from having a one year old child who didn't enjoy napping and my deciding to make most of the presents...)
I had never realized before how much work goes into just cleaning for the holiday! Then there's decorating, and cooking, and shopping, and it's sort of rude to do those things after the guests arrive. Then where to fit everyone (we do not have a large house) and making sure they're comfortable and sort of letting go of whether they're comfortable because there's only so much I can do without adding on a wing to the house and hiring some staff. So, thank goodness I am not hosting Christmas this year. But I feel guilty that my Mom, who is hosting, has all this work to do, so Monkey and I traveled to my Mom's house last week to help out. We blasted the Christmas music, and danced around with our dusters, then set about decorating for the holiday. It was great fun, and Monkey got to spend quality time with Nana and Poppy, so he was happy.
I brought two knitting projects with me, a Baby Surprise Jacket and a shawl for my grandmother, neither of which had been cast on. The shawl hadn't really been planned out, but I brought a copy of "Folk Shawls" by Cheryl Oberle with me, I figured I could pick something out of that. I started the lace shawl for my grandmother about 8 times this week, and FINALLY got something that resembles lace and doesn't make me vomit. (yeah, the tries were that bad) The problem was not Cheryl Oberle's book, it was my interpretation of it.
Apparently, I cannot follow simple directions. First, I ignored Cheryl's beautiful patterns, and tried to adapt her technique and stitch patterns into something entirely new. I tried to fit a lace pattern meant for a rectangular shawl into a triangular shawl (vastly overestimating my ability to adapt lace). Then I knit across the back for awhile instead of purling. When I finally figured that one out, fixed it, and the lace still looked bad, I realized I wasn't following the chart for the exceptions at the beginning and end of some rows. Hmmm... I decided to do something a bit easier, because it was very clear that I was not capable of much here. I cast on for a rectangle, used the number two lace from the sampler shawl in Folk Shawls, and remembered to purl on the wrong side (most times). So far, it's looking pretty good, and about 10 inches long (and it only needs to be about 60. God help me!)
You're probably wondering about the Baby Surprise Jacket I took with me. Never touched it. Seems it's a bit difficult being a single Mom, even just for a week, and with a few relatives around helping. Well, it is for me, anyway.