The above is my woodland sweater, in progress. I started this in about March or maybe even February. It is slow going, but worth every stitch. Sometimes I pause at the end of a row just to practice gently tugging open the ribbing and stroking the yarn. It is so deliciously soft, and the desire to slide it up my arms and wrap it around me keeps me going. I joke with my knitting friends that I plan to show it off every day and announce to perfect strangers that I made it. Sort of how I feel about my children. But in reality, I am not making it for anyone else to admire - I am making it for me. Also true about my little ones.
This one is for others to admire, as it's a gift for my mom. I thought ahead this year and began knitting this Christmas gift on Christmas Eve of last year. It's been almost complete for over two months, I just need to finish the neckline. It's a very basic straight stitch, but it's her favorite color, a buttery yellow. And there is a bit of interest here at the shoulder seams, a little bit of gathering, that is also around the V-neck.
And here, though the lighting is shoddy, is my Mount Everest. The cross quilt. You can see the orange chalk marks fussying up the squares, but it is coming together. I can't wait to lay this on my bed. I can't wait to sleep under it. I can't wait to start the next one. :) I try to do a quarter row every night. There are twenty quarter rows in all, and then the four quarters need to be joined. After that, I'll start shopping around for a binding fabric and (this is strangely critical for me) an ideal backing. I find that the backing of a quilt can make or break the piece. If the top is gorgeous but the backing is, well, not meant to be seen, I have no use for it.
And finally, my newest project. I'd love to claim that I thought of it myself, but I actually got the idea from a Parents magazine. The idea is little affirmations printed on strips of paper, that you hide or leave randomly for someone to serendipitously stumble upon. So far, I've dropped off about four. I like to think that perhaps giving one person a reason to smile can start a chain reaction. There is simply not enough positivity these days.