I'm getting into the Christmas mindset in spite of my reluctance to be swept along with a commercial timetable, and spent the weekend putting the finishing touches to two gifts. Have decided where the red smoke ring is destined, and have done a pair of Mrs Beetons for another friend (I don't think she reads this...) I now need a pair of more manly wristlets (got some fine Harris Tweed yarn for those) and I'll be well on the way down my list.
But then the urge to tackle some lace came upon me. I'd got myself a couple of skeins of Knitpicks Alpaca laceweight in Tidepool and some of their Options interchangeable needles (thanks for the shipping service, Jordi!) and I settled upon the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall issue. The photograph is deliberately unclear - the knitting is riddled with mistakes, but after starting it and ripping at least three times, I decided to simply go with it and call it a practice piece. I've done eleven repeats of the bud pattern, the rows are getting long and I think I'm getting the hang of it and making fewer errors. Hope so!
The Knitpicks interchangeable needles are terrific and I will add to my collection sometime soon. The tips are nicely pointy, the cable is flexible and easy to manage, and the screw fastening is brilliant - no snag whatsoever. Can recommend them wholeheartedly and only wish they sent direct to the UK rather than have to bother Jordi.
At some point in the next couple of days I need to sit down and devise this years Christmas card and put together some invitations to our pre-Christmas do. This week is pretty quiet though, so I'm hoping to get the Christmas cakes done and a couple of Christmas puddings too. Oh dear...that C word is creeping in all over, isn't it?