In other early December news, I sent a "getting ready for Christmas" package to my little grandsons in Connecticut. I bundled up pretzels and dried cranberries for our favorite Rudolph sandwiches, knit mitten ornaments for each one, and cut strips for paper chains. Last year Emmett made a long paper chain and wrapped it around our tree. This year we won't be together so I'm getting creative. I cut strips and started the chains for each of the three boys. I wrote a little message on them. I enclosed two rolls of scotch tape so the six year old and three year old can have their OWN roll of tape. Just what their mother needs this time of year, two boys with yards of sticky tape. The baby doesn't need tape. I haven't completely taken leave of my senses yet.
I wrapped up one other project for the year. This Ramona Cardigan in Montera yarn, a wool/llama blend, (think very warm) has been sitting in a bag since January. I worked on it last winter but didn't enjoy the knitting. I put it away the end of March because it was too warm on my lap. I got it out this fall and put it away again. Last week I knit one more row and realized I really don't want to knit the sweater. The pattern is well written and the sweater fit. However, the yarn was shedding. I didn't notice the shedding while swatching but didn't check either. The weight of all the stitches with heavier yarn hurt my arm/shoulder. I don't wear heavy sweaters nor did I want to figure out how to store this one. So I cut off the current ball of yarn and put half a sweater in a waste basket. When my husband emptied the trash, he pulled it out and set it aside. "Did you really mean to throw his away?" he asked. My answer was a resounding, "Yes, the sweater isn't for me." The rest of the yarn might make great mittens or slippers. I may knit with it and I may not. For now, I'm returning the yarn to a storage bin - guilt free. Knitting is not a chore.
I am planning a new project or two. I am considering a shawl with a wool cashmere yarn I purchased at a sale two years ago. The yarn won't cause any discomfort and it doesn't shed. I purchased the newly published Singing Beach Cowl. I have several skeins that would work for this pattern. In the meantime, I am joining knitters around the world to knit the Project Peace Cowl. At last count 16,000 knitters had downloaded the pattern. I am not one to join knitting bandwagons but this project appealed to me. Yesterday I cast on the cowl with some yarn from Lake Yarns and Fiber. I've lost the label but I think the yarn is a dk weight. The pattern calls for fingering weight so once again I am making a few changes, fewer stitches and larger sized needles.
The Christmas cactus began blooming Thanksgiving week. It is a little early but rather festive. I'm taking the days as they come. Happy Peaceful December.