My apologies for the radio silence this past week; it was not intended. Instead, the forces of nature conspired against me and kept me from getting many things done that were on my to-do list.
To start with, we left fairly early Monday morning to drive down to the Washington, D.C., area to spend Christmas with some longtime family friends (yes, for nearly two decades now, their Christmas tradition has been to have their Jewish friends join them for Christmas!). When we started doing this, my brother and I, along with this family's three daughters, were all kids; now, three of the five of us are married and have kids.
We were busy doing last-minute shopping, gift wrapping, and packing all weekend, so I didn't get a chance to throw up a post before we left, though I did finished up some handspun in the course of the weekend. I had decided it was finally time to spin up the 50% alpaca/30% merino/20% tussah silk fiber I bought at the Yarn Hollow fiber tasting at my LYS back in the summer. The colors were so pretty on their own that I decided to chain ply to preserve them, so I just spun the top up from one end to the other. I made a bit of a rookie mistake, though. I was spinning on my miniSpinner, which has a switch to determine the direction in which it spins, and I'd neglected to flip it back after I'd plied up some yarn recently, which meant that my singles were spun in the opposite direction. I only discovered this after I'd spun a significant amount, and as I didn't want to waste what I'd already done, I just decided to keep going and ply in the opposite direction. It worked out just fine.
The finished yarn is a light fingering weight and just slightly less than 420 yards. It's incredibly soft and silky, too. I have no idea what to make with it, but I'm thinking something in the shawlette/cowl category so I can wrap this around my neck.
While I wasn't able to get to the blog before we left, I did, however, manage to start a new sweater (my first sweater design, in fact) on the way down and nearly completed the yoke by the end of the day. Unfortunately, after I got Rainbow to bed on Christmas Eve and picked it up again, I discovered that I'd cast on the wrong number to begin with, so I had to rip the whole thing out and restart. Fortunately it didn't take too long to get back to where I was.
I'm knitting this in Knit Picks Capra, which is an amazingly soft and fuzzy merino/cashmere blend. They call it a DK, but I'm finding it knits up nicely at a worsted gauge (5 stitches per inch). It held up very well to frogging and if anything even developed a nice halo because of it.
When I say that forces of nature conspired against me, I mean it. We had intended to come home the morning after Christmas, but we kept looking at the radar of the big storm headed our way and decided to leave right after Christmas dinner instead to beat it home. It was a bit of a rough trip -- Rainbow wouldn't sleep soundly, it was dark, I was starting to have stomach issues, and we didn't get home until midnight -- but it ended up being very well worth it because we had near blizzard conditions the next morning. It also appears that we all shared some sort of stomach bug at Christmas, as both my mother and I spent all day Wednesday in bed and the Mister had it on Thursday (several others in the party, we learned later, were ill as well).
Thursday morning was spent rushing around trying to get everyone packed and ready for our trip to Florida for the remainder of the break, which is easier said than done with a stubborn toddler. As it happens, we needn't have rushed; our flight was delayed two hours, and then it took us nearly an hour to get a rental car, so it was after 10 when we finally go to my parents' house (and Rainbow went straight to bed, as she'd passed out in the car after being up and alert for the entire flight). The poor thing woke up screaming at 4:30 in the morning because she woke up and had no idea where she was (and that meant that I was also up).
But now we are settled in, we've all gotten a good night's sleep, and we're getting some breakfast ready. We're here for another week, and I'm hoping to get a decent amount done on my sweater (though I fully appreciate the eccentricity of knitting a wool/cashmere sweater in Florida).
I hope that whatever you are doing in these last days of 2012 is enjoyable and relaxing!