The Queen Susan shawl seriously impinged on my knitting and spinning time over the last few months. Fortunately, the pattern booklet is now off my desk and onto that of Laura, a most wonderful copy editor. I am hoping she will have time this week to work her magic, so I can upload the pattern shortly thereafter. I promise to announce availability when it's off everyone's desk and into the Ravelry pattern database.
Despite Queen Susan, I managed to complete a few small items for Christmas gifts.
I made two hats, one of which I cannot post about, because Kyoko-san is not allowed to open her present before December 25 and I don't want to spoil the surprise. However, the hat I made for Jun is not under any secrecy doctrine.
Jun's family owns Rhubarb, one of the few non-Japanese eateries in Togane City, Japan--the Nepalese chicken curry is especially good. We love Rhubarb's desserts: the lemon pound cake is particularly delicious.
I am sure you guys remember the Friendship Cake Plague? Every few weeks someone would drop in bearing a wad of Friendship cake starter. The idea was that you used to it make your own cake batter, reserving a blob to foist on someone else. We actually made one cake from the stuff and pronounced it Worse Than Grandma Tillie's Matzoh Balls, and frankly, I didn't think anything--foodstuff or otherwise--could earn that distinction.
After five of these batter bits had been charmingly received and surreptitiously handed off to the increasingly resentful neighborhood wildlife, we escaped to Japan, a country renowned for green tea and sashimi, but not for Americanisms such as Friendship cake.
So of course, the first thing we spotted, to our horror, in Rhubarb's dessert case a few days after arrival was--wait for it--Friendship cake. Clearly, a batter glob had somehow stowed away on a jetliner and slithered from Narita to Togane.
Regardless of this lamentable gastronomical lapse, Jun remains a good friend and deserves a warm hat. I used two skeins of Noro Silk Garden, removing the weird green yarn in the middle of the skeins, reserving it for future knitted frog toys. The little 2x2 cable pattern was spontaneous and I took no notes.
Horatio is proportionately smaller than Douglas (to match the size of the children), but equally squashy and adorable:
As for spinning, well, there is a drawer full of singles waiting for an appropriate plying device. I hate, loathe, detest plying. It's boring. It's dull. It's frightful. But! There's a beautifully wrapped package sitting on our Gift Slab that may address the Plying Problem. In the meantime, the myriad little copps sit quietly, waiting for Plyness. But I am not idle.
The Spindlewoods pink ivory spindle in the top photo holds gloriously silky Suri alpaca from The Critter Ranch, and the spindle in the lower two images is clearly enjoying luxurious 50/50 silk/merino roving from The Fiber Denn. It might be the only smiling spindle ever made!