I wore my Rayures cowl to work on Friday.  It was the last day of the term before our 2 week break.  I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have two weeks off in a row.  I’ll still be working somewhat from home since I have a new course to prep for, but it is still appreciated time off.

I had been keeping Rayures on Frenchie since it looks so pretty on her, and it allows me to admire my handy-work when I happen to be in the room.  It only just recently turned very cold (it’s been spring-like here all winter so far), and Friday was the first morning that was really typical of Midwest winters. 

Rayures Cowl 1

I whipped the cowl off of the form in a rush to get off to work, and was struck with a sudden pang that poor French looked cold.  I had gotten used to her standing there in the corner, wrapped in two layers of cashmere blend, and I sort of felt guilty for leaving her without them on the coldest morning of winter so far.  Silly as it sounds (is it odd for one to feel empathy for one’s dress form…?), I searched the room for a substitute, and adorned French with the Woodland Turtle Cowl.

Frenchie staying warm

She wears it well,  doesn’t she?  She takes her job very seriously.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which is the day that my family tends to celebrate the holiday.  As of this evening, I am finished with my holiday shopping, and just have some wrapping to do.  I will be bringing along my latest, mindless knitting project to the family gathering.  (By mindless I mean I can work on it while visiting with family etc… since it doesn’t require great concentration.)

Busy hands

I have been working this one for a while, but for some reason I had it in my head that I wouldn’t post about it until it’s done.  The truth is, it is one of those patterns that progresses very slowly, and God only knows when I’ll actually complete this thing.

The pattern is The Double Fun Ruffle Scarf by the great Wendy Johnson.  When finished, the scarf looks like a giant lasagna noodle, and it is worked brilliantly via sets of short rows on each end before proceeding across to the other side.  So for each single row of stitches knit across the width of the scarf, there is a series of short rows which produces the ruffle.  Add to that the use of a fingering weight yarn, and you have yourself some SLOW GOING.  The effect is terrific though. 

Here is Frenchie doing her best to show off what I have done so far, despite the crummy lighting and an incomplete garment:

Double Fun Scarf

Double Fun Scarf2

The yarn recommended for the pattern is Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn which is a coarse, stiff, self-striping Shetland wool.  Shetland is the type of wool used for Fair Isle color work because it naturally sticks to itself like velcro, filling in all of the spaces and making a stable fabric.  In this case, it is being used for its stiffness which holds the shape of those hard-won ruffles, sort of like a stiff crinoline under a dress.  It’s a bit of a bother to work with, but I really love the effect.

 I hope your holiday shopping is being wrapped up and that you are keeping warm!

~Happy knitting!

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