Wednesday, December 26, 2007

finished knits, new traditions

Our Christmas Eve brunch hosted by Zach and Joey in their Victoria apartment was lovely. Paul and I drove down the afternoon before and stayed at the hotel Zach works in, taking advantage of the Friends and Family rate -- a good deal! We had a lovely meal in the hotel restaurant with its view of the festively-lit Parliament Buildings reflected in the Harbour. Sadly, we didn't get to see Zach reading Christmas stories to the hotel's younger guests (as part of its family-friendly profile, the hotel offers nightly bedtime readings with milk and cookies -- Zach's a front desk clerk but willingly takes his turn reading). However, he did come to chat briefly with us during our meal and we made arrangements to meet the next day.

The morning of Christmas Eve brought welcome sunshine, and I photographed the soon-to-be-gifted Noro Striped Scarf. There are so many beautiful photographs of this across the blogosphere, as I showed you earlier (scroll down to "all the other kids" -- each word is a link) and I love my own humble contribution enough to plan on making a few more of these.

After a few scarf-tying instructions from his girlfriend, sister, brother-in-law, and mom, the young man came up with this -- doesn't he look great in it! I'm so pleased with the result.

While still in the hotel room, I couldn't resist snapping this shot of the sunlight hitting the scarf I made Paul last Christmas out of Handmaiden's Cashmere 4-ply using Grumperina's Shifting Sands pattern. Paul admires the Noro striped scarf, but he's probably too wool-sensitive to wear it so he gets cashmere and silk, lucky boy!

Last month, as part of a stash-busting mission, I decided to use the cashmere left over from Paul's scarf to finally try Grumperina's Odessa pattern (without the beads). I let the girls choose between several hats I'd made and Rhiannon picked this one (good taste! can't beat cashmere, and the subtle hand-dyeing is so lovely in this yarn -- it's one of Handmaiden's "amost solid" colourways, one of my favourites, I think, altho' I can't wear orange myself.

Here's a better shot for appreciating the colour range and you can see the spiralling simple lacework. This is another pattern I will happily knit up again -- quick, easy, yet very effective.

As for hats, here's my boy showing how he styles his Shedir hat, which he took home from our early Christmas gathering in Vancouver.

Knit in Zara, this hat, meant to be worn beanie-or-touque style, has considerable give which Zach exploits for a slouchy effect.

A hat I didn't end up photographing is Wendy Bernard's "Le Slouch" beret I knit for Joey out of charcoal Rowan Kid Classic -- it shows up even less than Zach's hat. She seemed to like it, though, and Bronwen's asked me if I'd make one for her as well. Especially in the Kid Classic, it's a nice warmth and the slouchy shape sits loosely enough on the head that you don't get punished with serious hathead as soon as you take it off. Here, Joey's modeling the scarf she got from Rhiannon -- the girl looks good in blue, doesn't she!
Joey didn't get a chance to do much modeling though. We kept her in the kitchen, working with Paul to turn out a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, biscuits, and a platter of fruit. I think all the travellers agreed that the trip down and back was well worth it for a few hours spent in such good company at Christmas time. If we couldn't see Zach and Joey on Christmas Day, this was the next best thing, and if this becomes a new tradition, it will be a very welcome one!
Finally, I apologize if this post appears with too much white space between photos -- I've played and played and sworn and sworn, moving between "Compose" and "edit html" and "preview" and have to say that this is the best I can do for now.

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