I am pleased to report that both hats were a big success. I have photos of the hats. I do not have photos of the hats on the recipients. Dude and Dudette were not interested in slowing down long enough to have pictures taken.
Dudette squeed loudly when she pulled her hat out of the gift bag and waved it around. "Look Mommy what Aunt M made me!" She also declared that she *loved* it and that it was very soft. I think she put it on for about 2 seconds before she got too excited and had to charge back into the rest of the stack of presents awaiting her.
The pink fluffy hat was knit with Yarn Bee Frosting in the color Candy Dots on size 10 needles using the Zebedee Hat Pattern. I decided against threading the ribbon through the eyelets as the pattern directed when I discovered that I couldn't actually find the eyelets. I laced the thread through what I thought were eyelets, but then the ribbon didn't really show up in the furry yarn, so I used yarn and both pink and purple ribbon to make the pompom. Technically the pompom isn't quite on the top of the hat. Apparently where I thought the top of the hat was wasn't really the top, but it's close and nobody but me is ever going to notice. Dudette loves it and that's good enough for me.
Dude's hat wasn't quite finished in time for the official present opening session. I very nearly made the deadline, but hadn't gotten the plain facing tacked down on the inside. That was accomplished just before lunch and Dude said it was cool, though he was way more interested in the new Play-Doh and definitely didn't want to wear it at the time. And who can blame him!? He did say there were spiders on it. I don't think the hat was quite as cool as the Spider Man pajamas that I gave him, but he did say it was good, it fits and he knows that Auntie made it for him.
The hat was knit in Wendy Peter Pan on size 3 needles using the Spidey Hat pattern found here. By the end of the top of the hat, I had a good handle on the two-handed, two-color knitting thing. I can't decide if I need to practice it more right now or take a break for a little bit and finish some existing projects. I feel a whole lot more comfortable with keeping my tension even between my two hands.
While visiting family, I picked up a bunch of Patons Classic Wool at Michael's, of all places. It was on sale, so I picked up enough of the cream/natural color to knit myself a cardigan. I saw the perfect cabled cardigan pattern a few weeks ago in the Patternworks catalog and conveniently I have a gift certificate I should use soon, since it's a couple years old.
Also acquired were: Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitters and The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. Last, but not least, I was given two skeins of Unique Sheep's Verve sock yarn in Brookside and Lights. I didn't actually remember picking either of these colors, but I like them both very much, especially since I could use some green-based socks like Brookside will produce.
On the Needles....
Another chemo cap for the same recipient as hat number one. The first hat fits perfectly now, but we're not sure how well it will fit once the hair hiatus begins, so I'm going to knit another one a bit smaller. I have already cast on one hat using Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist from Hobby Lobby. This yarn is normally $6.50 a skein, but was on sale for $0.99/skein. I have two skeins in each of two colors, which ought to be plenty for a hat or four. I also have plenty of Lion Brand Homespun (the yarn from which I knit the first hat) in four different colors.
The Swan Lake Shawl is sitting in its little basket waiting patiently for its wing to be finished. I'm not purposefully avoiding it, but I'm not overly excited to work on it either.
On the sock front, I have started the second of the braided toeholder socks while I was traveling. I'm about halfway through the ribbing now. The Arrowhead Lace sock is still waiting to be finished. I didn't take it with me on my trip this year. I worked on it a year ago and ended up having to rip out about an inch of it. The pattern is just complex enough that I can't follow it accurately and carry a conversation, so I didn't even try this time. (See! I can learn!) I might get a big chunk of knitting done this next weekend since I have four days off. Then again I might get distracted by something else.
There are two knitalongs starting that I will probably do. One is the Spring Shawl Surprice and the other is the Secret of the Stole 2. SOTS2 has already started, if I recall correctly, and Spring Shawl starts in January. Or vice versa. I'm also a member of the Mystic Waters knitalong, but didn't actually start the shawl. I can't decide if I really like the pattern, now that I'm seeing it knit up.
I will haul out my Freedom Sweater as soon as I finish one of my socks and see if I can't get the sweater finished before the end of the winter. That's my winter knitting goal: finish the Freedom Sweater.