Only Three Hundred Tea Lights

Just a quick one from me, since the bulk  of my day was taken up by an epic trip to Ikea, in which Joe and I tried (and failed) to buy stuff there without falling victim to the siren call of the bulk bags of tea lights. I am helpless in the face of Ikea candles.  There’s something about the darkness of this time of year that only candles can spare you from, and we light them often, to drive the dreariness out of the corners of the house, and make the world we live in sparkly and cozy again.  As the darkness falls, the candles come out.

tealights 2014-12-08

(That picture, by the way, was taken just an hour before I hit “post” on this – at about 4:30pm It is dark here, indeed.)

Today though, in the little daylight that reigned, I finished my Indian Feathers (modified a fair bit –  more about that tomorrow) and set it to block on the spare bed, conveniently stripped for washing before the ladies all come home for Christmas.

beforeblockingindianfeathers 2014-12-08

(I’ve always called my three daughters “the girls”, but as they got older, my Uncle Tup took to calling them “the ladies” as a collective.  I can’t think of a time that he didn’t speak of them as though they came as a trio, which I suppose, they rather do.) I used blocking wires to pull out the top edge, and pinned each point with a t-pin.

blockingindianfeathers2 2014-12-08

Please pardon the odd pink cast to the photos.  The room has pink walls and a bright pink curtain (holdover from when one of the ladies occupied it during a pink phase) and it gave a queer pink cast to all the photos that I didn’t notice until it was too dark to take them again.

duringblock 2014-12-08

blockingindianfeathers 2014-12-08

The answer to blocking this was (as always) patience and a little time. (And an audio book.) I threaded the flexible wire through the i-cord bindoff at the top, and then it was a quick (ha!) matter of pinning each point.  It will be dry in the morning, and then there’s another gift, ready to be boxed and wrapped.  I have a rather lofty goal of having Christmas all in the bag by the 20th. I’m determined to be knitting for me on Christmas Eve.  (We’ll see if that’s laughable or not.)

What’s Luis hanging today?

The snowman.

snowman 2014-12-08

Or, as he calls it, Senor de Nieve.  (Mister of snow.  I take it that Spain is not a particularly snowy place, and the language falls down in spots.)  Carlos figures he picked that one because he’s wishing for snow, which I think he’s almost alone in.  Soon, I’ll welcome it – we’ve certainly already had a dump or two, but it warmed here and there, and it’s gone – leaving behind only demoralizing chunks of ice. I think Luis is coming a little early on this one, if he’s bucking for a white Christmas.  I used this pattern for the snowman (sort of) and mine came out totally wonky.  His eyes are a little crooked, and his hat doesn’t stay on straight, but he looks like every slightly odd snowman I ever made when I was little, using branches, rocks and leaves, so I left him as he was. If Luis gets a chance to make one, I bet it will be a little dodgy too.

Gifts for Knitters Day 8

Could there be a more appropriate day to advocate for blocking stuff? I think not.  Your knitter needs blocking stuff, unless they already have it.  Look around the house, and see what you don’t see.  I’m a brand new big fan of the Inspinity Deluxe Ultra fine blocking wire kit. (That’s what I’m using above, and it works a treat.) I also have, use and adore the Handworks set of dressing wires.  If your knitter has those already, think about getting them a steamer. (I don’t have one (though my family could note that from this list) but Debbi swears by this one.) Your knitter can’t possibly not need a passel of t-pins, or a set of blocking mats, or even (and I love this one, because I love to block on the bed) a blocking cloth, that lays out a grid over a regular surface, so that they can make nice, straight lines.  (Your knitter, while they may have tidiness issues in other areas, appreciates orderliness in blocking. Trust me.)