Today is the long-awaited Christmas day. Secret knitting and sewing can now be revealed. (It all got done, too.) But before it was revealed to those most intimately concerned with it, we went to church for a lovely service of Song, Scripture reading, and a sermon. I could sing all day on Christmas, I think.
Stockings came before the service, however. Both my children got fountain pens in their stockings. One pen got left at my mom's house, and one child learned the hard way not to put your finger on the nib while writing .. but so far, so good! I'm almost finished with my second cartridge, and am still not sure what color(s) ink to get next.
My first stealth knitting project was the Aran Rose Sweater from Interweave Knits (the same one with the Trellis Scarf in it. That was a good issue) My gauge swatch, dutifully done, perfectly matched what the pattern called for. The finished sweater did absolutely NOT match the dimensions given in the pattern. Gauge somehow changed drastically (drastically, drastically, drastically ... did I mention drastically?) and instead of being 30" at the chest, was 26". I also had an extra 20 rows of center pattern to get the requisite length. When you read to measure your gauge as you work along, they're not kidding. I decided that the sweater needed a good blocking, and that I'd give it one after Christmas. The neck, somehow, strangely enough, is loose compared to the rest of the sweater ... but my daughter vehemently protested my offer to redo the neck, and likes the fit as is, so all is well.
I snuck in a fourth Stealth Knitting Project before Christmas, for my mom. She got me some lovely hand-dyed yarn to make the Harebell Lace Fichu from Victorian Lace Today, and promised to get me the book for Christmas. I got permission to make a copy of the pattern, and an obliging friend (Thanks!) sent it to me, so I was able to present the fichu to mom today, finished, before I even got the book. The patterns in it are *fabulous* and I am looking forward to seriously reading through the book and making a few things from it in the coming year.
While I wasn't Stealth Knitting, I knit a facecloth using dishcloth cotton and the Bead Lozenge Centre Pattern from Heirloom Lace Knitting. My crochet edging is atrocious, but I do like the lace. Swatching lace into facecloths could be a fun hobby. It doesn't tell you beans about gauge for a laceweight shawl, but it helps you learn the pattern, is worked in yarn that's easily visible, and there's a handy use for it.
Once again, I don't have anything on the needles. I do have two bags to felt, and one cord to make. Right now, though, I think I'll go weave in some ends with my new Sterling Silver Yarn Needle from Celtic Swan Forge. What a delightful surprise that was! (Thank you, stealth gifter!)