Today, we fought the bleak December by making gingerbread houses.
This is an actual holiday tradition in our family. The first couple of years we made gingerbread houses, I made the dough and all the pieces from scratch, but then one year I discovered the “kit.” The gingerbread kit is a beauteous thing! All the pieces, the frosting powder, and the candy all in one box. This year it got even better. At Target they have $8.00 kits that include quite a bit of candy, PRE-MADE frosting, and a plastic base which has slots to hold the walls in place. Very easy and the girls were “caught being good.” when they completely cleaned up after themselves!
This was not really the plans that I had for today as we were supposed to attend a Womens Hartford Hawks Basketball game, but with IHA off at a Patriots game and the threat of inclement weather we decided to opt out and shop in the morning and gingerbread house in the afternoon. I think this worked out really well, as I have one more thing crossed off my todo list!
I needed to get back to knitting Dark Victory this week and I think I am starting to get moving again. But to get back on my knitting feet, I made a quick roll brim hat for Agent B:
This was some handspun yarn I had from a Funky Eclectic Nuclear Superwash Wool Roving.
OK, onto Dark Victory. Here is the body portion so far up to where I have some stitches bound off for the sleeves:
As I attempted to start the sleeves last night, I discovered that I just didn’t understand the directions. I played around a bit and reworded the directions so they made sense to me. I think the sleeve is progressing nicely and the increases are coming out symetrical. My only hope is that I can complete all my increases by the time the sleeve reaches the appropriate length. For anyone interested (and for myself when I go to start the second sleeve), this is what I am doing:
Start with a long tail cast on and smaller needles.
R1 (ws) edge stitch (knit on all rows), K1, P2 (K2, P2), K1, edge stitch
R2 (rs) Switch to larger needles. edge stitch, P1, K2 (P2, K2), P, edge stitch
(What I think is going to happen by doing it this way is that the 2 purls from the opposite sides will combine together for the purl 2 rib after the edge stitches are seamed using the mattress stitch.)
R3 (ws) Follow rib pattern as established knitting edge stitches.
R4 (rs) K1 (edge stitch), P1, K2, place marker, Inc 1 (I use m1 by picking up running thread from back to front and knitting into the front) (P2, K2), Inc 1 (pick up running thread from front to back and knit through the back), place marker, K2,P1, K1(edge stitch)
Then just follow the rib pattern and increase every 4 rows. The increases have to work into the existing rib pattern and I could not get that to work by “following” the instructions in the book. This way, they seem to working in nicely. When it is time for a purl increase I do the make 1’s by purling instead of knitting.
You are probably wondering why I titled this post with a quote from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. Well, I’m reading stories from The Return of the Light by Carolyn McVickar Edwards to the girls each evening. Tonight’s story was called “Raven Steals the Light” and in the introduction to that story, the author compares Poe’s raven to the Inuit’s raven. She says that while Poe’s raven is “dreadful,” the raven in the Inuit story is “comforting” and ‘the very antidote to Poe’s “Midnight in December.”‘ So I have been thinking about the raven in Poe’s world and whether that raven is allowed to exist in our culture today with its plea for constant holiday cheer. We fight the bleakness of December in many ways from endless shopping to thousands of strands of Christmas lights. We get so busy that the month of December flies right by and before we know it that shortest day has passed and the days get longer and the sun stronger again. Overall December is a month to get through and all the holidays in that month throughout the ages have been just a way to quickly pass the time to get on to better days. So, it seems to me that we have 2 choices for December. We can get through it by accepting its innate dreariness and dealing with Ravens such as Poe’s or we can fight the dreariness by bringing in our own light like the Raven in the Inuit story who stole back the light with his wit and cunning. I think for tonight at least, I choose the second raven.