Wednesday, 30 December 2009

What to do at your in-law's over Christmas when not eating

I like my in-laws, they are lovely, generous people. However, I usually get a bit stir-crazy after a few days at their place. I am not very good at a)sitting around doing nothing or b)dashing about Sydney looking at things (other than fabric shops, for which I make an exception). I really, really, like to stay home and make things. This time I had a plan.
The first part of the plan involved the 15 to 16 hours travel in the car - each way.
My husband and I share the driving, but I am able to do simple knitting whilst on passenger shift.
I made this pair of socks... (for my son, from remnants of Patonyle and Heirloom sock yarn)
and this pair of French Press slippers - seen here in their unfelted state.

This pair was for daughter the first. I made them from Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, which is the only worsted weight yarn I have that I thought might felt. After 8 agitation cycles in my mother-in-law's top loading washing machine, (I told you she was a lovely, generous person) they sort of felted, and are wearable, but the cashmere and silk in the yarn, although less than 25% of the total, seems to stop the wool from felting completely.
I cannot show you a photo of the finished slippers, as they are being posted back from Sydney with other Christmas presents.
Next up, I made myself a pair of French press felted slippers, from Heirloom "Heatherwood" 100% merino wool. This is not worsted weight, being an 8ply category 3 yarn, but I did not change the pattern at all, and the slippers fit perfectly.



I plan to make many more pairs of these. They took 2 x 12 minute agitation cycles in my mother-in-law's machine, so I am hoping that I can achieve the same effect in my own front loader. My mother in law has commissioned a pair for her birthday, so I think they are a success. Other relatives tried some commissions as well, but I did not commit to any more pairs. I think they have enough hand made presents for the moment. They did like their presents.

After this, I started on a cardigan for daughter the first. This is from Jo Sharp Knit 7, the drop stitch cardigan, and I thought I would be working on this project for our entire camping holiday. I am not very fast at knitting.
I started it on Boxing day, and finished the main cardigan on the 28th. It is knit on 10mm needles with 2 strands of 8ply yarn, and is unbelievably quick to knit, quicker than a baby cardigan.
I am hoping to obtain a photograph of this cardigan on my daughter, but she claims that it is too hot at present.
I did think, as it rained for most of our time in Sydney, that I might squeeze in a quick trip to the fabric shops. Fortunately for my credit card, my husband was very keen to get moving after 5 days of sitting around eating.
I knit the belt (moss stitch) on our drive home, and one size 11 man's black sock with a cable.
We did not go camping. Most of rural NSW seemed to have a flood warning, and it rained for nearly the whole trip back. This is a bit disappointing, but now I have a few unexpected holiday days at home, waiting for the weather to clear a bit so we can go camping somewhere else without being trapped in the tent by thunderstorms the whole time. I may start some SWAP sewing.


KID, MD said...

Wow, I am impressed with all the knitting you got done! Those slippers look very cozy and the baby cardigan is adorable!

Claire S. said...

Great projects !

I wouldn't get nearly that much done, but also used to bring hand work to my in-laws (cross-stitch at the time). They spent all their time (yes, all) in front of sports, any sports, on TV - even when they had company. I don't do sports - so the stitching save my sanity on many long afternoons !

Happy New Year to you and your family !

wendy said...

that cardigan is *gorgeous*!
and i fail to see how you're getting bored in sydney. ;-) i was only there for a week, but i'm DYING to go back- it's such a fantastic city!!

Sharon said...

Wow, you achieved quite a bit and those long car trips can be very good for knitting. I took my knitting to my in-laws, they also sit in front of the TV and didn't get nearly as much completed as you did.

Sorry you didn't get camping, but an unexpected holdiay at home, my dream.

Lisa said...

what a fun vacation!

I like your knitting projects.

I am curious about the coats??? Here in the states (we had lows last week at -14C), I could understand, but in Sydney?

Carol said...

This is why I did not leave my property for the four days of the christmas break. I like being at home doing things. If I had to stay with my in-laws, I would be arrested. They, too, are lovely generous people but they seem to be like Claire S in-laws and watch sport on television ALL THE TIME. I can't be held responsible for my actions. It's still raining here in Byron, but not enough to get me flooded in. I am going to stay home for the next three days anyway and sew my SWAP. I wish you and your family a safe and happy new year.

Paola said...

Hi, we're just about to do the same trip in reverse...just south of Sydney to Hervey Bay to visit mother-in-law, and like you, I just want to stay home and make things. You've inspired me to make some good use of my time...