More giftknitting

Epic Wedding Shawl is still unblocked. However, I have the day off work tomorrow so I'll be taking care of it then. It's so big that it won't fit on my regular foam blocking squares, so instead I'll have to use the bed which means that I need to do it on a day when I A) have the entire day to let it dry, and B) am home because I have an idiot cat that tries to eat pins that needs to be kept away from the bed for the day. When I'm home, the cats tend to hang out wherever I am, so hopefully that'll be enough to keep them distracted and away from their normal daytime napping spot.

In the meantime, I've continued work on Secret Gift #4, which is coming along just swimmingly and I am nearing the end of it. I'm so in love with it, and would be sorely tempted to keep it for myself but thank goodness it's not my size at all, so I'm not having any problems resisting (though I did add a couple more skeins of the lovely yarn I'm using (Cascade Baby Alpaca -- soooo soft and snuggly) to my mental wishlist to make one for me as well when all of this Christmas Knitting Madness is over with. I've also started work on Not-So-Secret Gift #1 -- thick house socks for Jason.

Knitted out of Patons Classic Wool in Light Grey Marl. I started these last Saturday during the Paul and Storm concert I went to (which was absolutely frigging awesome!) and knit up to the heel flap, then worked the rest of the heel and gusset decreases in the evenings here.

Last night I made Jason try them on, and unfortunately it appears that my math was flawed (surprise surprise...) and they're just a bit too tight. I'm very confused how this happened. I found a pattern for men's socks knit in a similar worsted weight yarn at the same gauge I was getting, and that pattern recommended casting on 40 stitches to start. That seemed really small to me (since I cast on 44 stitches for a pair of aran-weight socks for my own tiny feet) so I did a little bit of math and came up with 56 as a number. I knit the ribbing and put that on  Jason's foot (since that's how I "swatch" for my own socks) and it was a bit loose, so I went down 4 stitches and did it again and it fit. Now it's too tight. Sigh.

I'm resisting frogging because I really really don't want to start over, which also confuses me because these worked up super fast, so it's not like I have a ton of time invested in them already...

With perfect timing to cheer me up from that little setback, I got a box from KnitPicks in the mail...

Lots of pretty pretty yarn inside. Two skeins of Stroll handpaint in Lullaby was the reason for placing the order. A coworker commissioned a pair of boot socks, and the Stroll held doubled makes a sturdy, warm fabric. Then, since if I'm making an order I might as well go for the free shipping, I added four skeins of City Tweed HW in Blueblood to make a Clara Vest, which has been in my queue for ages now. And then enough Felici for two pairs of socks, one each in Time Traveler (which was necessary because I'm a great big nerd) and in Rainbow (which was necessary because of my inexplicable attraction to eye-searingly bright things.) I'm especially thrilled with the Rainbow, which is far less primary that it appeared in the pictures on the website and far more highlighter bright in person. It has gone to languish with my skein of DiC Knitosophy in by bribe yarn pile.

Now, I'm off to cast on a slightly larger sock.