Monday, December 17, 2007

The Elves Are Busy

Thursday (the 13th) I was helping with a Christmas Luncheon and Program put on by one of my music clubs. I wasn't in charge of any of the food, and for the first time in several years, I wasn't on the program this month either. In fact, my regular accompanist, Diana, asked me if I knew what to do since we weren't performing. It did feel strange, but nice to just listen and enjoy, too. I was simply a flunky in the kitchen, mainly before we served. The dessert was the most interesting part. We have a member who lives in Pennsylvania, but is flown back every so often to perform and tour with a dance band, and it often coincides with our meetings. She had Whoopie Pies and Wilber Buds shipped here for us. The Whoopie Pies are an Amish thing, and very good, although very sweet. The Wilber Buds look a lot like Hershey kisses, and apparently the Wilber Chocolate factory employed Mr. Hershey before he started his own company, and they had the kiss-type candy form first. Isn't history interesting? All this information, and chocolate too!

I realized when I got home after the event, that I'd been paying no attention whatsoever to the calendar, and Christmas was creeping up on me even more quickly than usual. I began to knit on my nephew's sweater with greater concentration, and finished the knitting Saturday. It looks so tiny compared to the same sweater for my brother, but I think they're both the right size. Hope so anyway!

I decided to wait and block after I finished them, and I'm really glad I made that decision, since when I stitched my brother's together, I had to do some adjusting on the length of the saddle shoulder extensions which meet and are grafted at CB, and that might have been rather difficult after blocking. I've almost finished the neckband on his. I learned something too. When I first had shoulder pain which turned out to be rotator cuff injury, it began when I was doing a picked-up neckband on a sweater for me. I was using a circular needle. This is about the same thing, except the sweater is much heavier. I began on a circular, and started getting the same type of pain again. I decided that pushing the stitches along on the circular while lifting and repositioning the heavy sweater was probably the problem. I changed to double-pointed needles, and I think it's helped a lot. It's still a chore, doing 5" of 2x2 rib on Size 2 needles, but it looks really great.

Click here for a larger view and for earlier progress photos.

Now all I have to do is stitch up Zachary's sweater and do his neckband. I really was beginning to wonder if I was even going to get done in time since I started Chris's in about June, and didn't start Zach's until November. I feel like I've been doing no needlework except knitting for several weeks now, and I'm excited to be getting close to done.


Anonymous said...

Spectacular work, Liana. I'm sure your brother and your nephew will enjoy wearing their sweaters and have wonderful Christmas memories of 2007.

LisaB said...

Wonderful knitting!

I'm glad you got to experience Whoopie Pies. I also live in PA and make 100+ of them once a year for my workplace. My co-workers go crazy over them, especially now that I've started making a variety of filling flavors. It makes me wonder what treats you have in your neck of the woods that I've never experienced!

Marji said...

Liana, the sweater is just gorgeous. I too experience shoulder pain, and in fact pinched a nerve in my left shoulder after working on some of those double knit hats awhile back, took months to heal. Thanks for the tip that switching to dpn's created less stress.
Hope your brother and nephew appreciate the sweaters.