Home sweet home!

After a very long journey around the world yesterday, I made it back to San Francisco in time to be one of the last patrons at the In-n-Out Burger by the airport at 1 a.m.  Dudes seriously, I was starving and by then all I wanted was a double double animal style.  Oh so freaking good.

There was lots of sleep, sun, sand and booze in Accra for me and my cronies and my knitting output suffered.  I only added a few inches to my Elektra laceweight version so I’ll be happy with that.

Now my knitting and I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

So I’m still working…

So I’m still working and won’t be home until the 30th.  And no, I’ve not had a day off since the 17th.  Hands up who’s bitter?

My modest Christmas plans were thwarted by the weather, and for the next several days I’m in Accra where it’s very, very warm.  Really about as far away from the blizzard many of you are experiencing today.  My plans for my exotic layover are simply sleep and sleep.  I’m exhausted and jet lagged, so I will take advantage of my time to rest.  No, not very exciting or picturesque but there it is.

I did take a few pics this morning on my sleep deprived walk.  The fishermen come in at this pier and there were lots of fish about.  This was the only pile of crabs I saw so I kinneared a pic.  It was fascinating and smelly at the same time.  Rather a good nutshelled description of my first impression of Accra.

Hat it

Seriously, what’s the deal with a 16″ size 0 round needle?  Why don’t they just call it an instrument of torture and have the Geneva Convention forbid it. Why didn’t I just stop using it if it was so terrible, you ask? Because I’m lazy, too lazy to empty off some size 0 dps and change over.  Clearly I’m a dork.

Luckily this Tantallon hat is quick to knit, it’s a hat after all though I did take a month to make it because six balls of yarn do not a travel project make.  I learned a bit about picking out colors for fair isle.  A harmonious palette when laid out on a table does not always produce that same result knit up.  One change I’d make is to change out one of the greens, two of those greens are similar and are indistinguishable in the knit fabric.  That and the needle choice.

Clearly none of these problems are the fault of the pattern, which is clearly written and error free.  I did have a compressed row gauge issue that made me have to fudge a little.  One follows the chart and should begin decreasing about row 35, which based upon pattern gauge of 7 rows per inch would be about 5″ from the brim.  I hit row 35 about 3.75″ from the brim so I knit another few pattern repeats and fudged the top.  I was determined not to rip out any painful knitting on this hat, so a calculator and fudging were employed.

Hat completed, needle banished (I didn’t bin it because it did cost $16 – I’ll find a use for it) and it’s still sadly much too warm to wear a hat of any kind in my neck of California.  I’ve got it at the ready for the next dip in temperature, or my next work trip to the frozen tundra, whichever comes first.

This one’s hard to spell

My unbeaded version of Romi’s Celaeno is done!  It’s been pretty much done for awhile, but I just didn’t have time to finish the last of the knitting and block this.  But now that I’m back home I got on that.  I broke out the Thomas the Tank Engine blocking mat and went for it.  I even remembered to block points on this scarf (I forgot on the last scarf – Maia) and I think it’s a winner.  Romi’s patterns are just lacy enough for my taste and very wearable, plus they’re good travel projects.  This is from her 7 Small Shawls ebook, so next up is Elektra.  I guess I’ll be forced to yarn shop to find an appropriate yarn for Elektra…

What else is happening at casa de Sil?  I’m celebrating Christmas way early this year since I have to work from the 18th through the 31st with no time off for good behavior.  I’ve got to fit all my “must dos” into the next week and a half.  It can be done.  I started my “must” list with making SpindleRose’s caramels, these delicious candies are only made once a year.  This years batch came out super yummy because I finally figured out my candy thermometer is a bit slow.  This batch is chewy and rich.  Perfect!  Now I’m off to the gym to work off one or two of the pieces I had to taste test.  Had to!

So little, so late

So there’s not much crafting to show you.  I’ve been working.  And working.  Clearly my schedule hates me.

What I have done is start a hat.  I don’t know why, but I got some hot-burning -hair-up my ass for fair isle.  Voila, Tantallon Hat was begun.  I picked out some yarns that looked nice together, but perhaps not nice in fair isle together.  No matter, I’ll be continuing on and considering it a learning experience.

The other thing I did was buy a fake Christmas tree  and set it up.  Why did I not get a fake, prelit tree years ago?  So much easier and really much more practical when you’ve got to work the last two weeks of December.  Christmas is starting early at casa de Sil, well I’ve been eating lebkuchen since Halloween if truth be told.  And everyone knows, Christmas begins when the lebkuchen shows up at Cost Plus.

Happy Birthday!

This blast from the past is brought to you by Claudia‘s Birthday!  Yup!  It’s December 1st again, bringing yet another photo of Claudia from my vast archive of embarrassing photos.  I don’t actually think this one is embarrassing, it’s teenage Claudia in a Lolita-esque moment by the Christmas tree and is rather lovely.  I’m lucky to have such a wonderful sister, so help me celebrate Claudia’s birthday by sending her some birthday greetings!