Labyrinth Scarf for Karen (“Kah-nin”)

We have been so blessed during our time in Las Vegas to find such wonderful, caring people to help us with Patrick.  First, there was Patti, who was so fantastic as a daycare provider.  We were so sad to see her go, and so was Patrick!  It was difficult to believe that we’d be able to find someone else who would care for Patrick with just the right amounts of love, humor, knowledge, and boundaries.

But Karen was definitely that person!  It made me feel so good at the end of the day to pick up Patrick from her house, where he was excited to see me, but so bummed to leave her.  He learned so much from his time with her — manners, how to be a good friend to others, and of course, the fist bump followed by the elbow bump followed by a kiss or a hug (that’s my favorite thing).  It’s difficult to quantify your gratitude to a person like Karen into a farewell gift, but all I knew for sure was that a farewell/thank you gift was TOTALLY necessary.

So here it is!  Karen’s Labyrinth scarf, made with Lily Chin wool yarn in an amazingly regal purple and bright white.  The yarn was a DREAM to work with — super strong but soft and pliable — and the pattern was really fun.  On the close-up picture you can probably see how the pattern gets its name, but it’s just a simple knit or purl stitch all the way through.  It took a little while to get the rhythm of it down, but once I did, I was able to keep my eyes off the pattern.  Loved it!

If I’d had more time, I would have loved to have done more for this amazing lady.  But I just hope, as with all gifts, that the scarf will remind her about how much we appreciated all she did for our little guy this year.  AND I hope it will keep her warm — that’s important too.  🙂

Latitude and Longitude Sweater for Beth

Southwest-y sweaters are actually hard to come by.  You’d think they’d be a dime a dozen, but you’d be wrong.  Northeast wrong.  When I was searching for a sweater pattern to make for my mother-in-law’s birthday, I really wanted something that had a little bit of a southwest flare to it — just a little Zia action.  Maybe, at bare minimum, a touch of turquoise.  But all the patterns I could find were very opposite — Northeast, indeed.  Tons of gorgeous, fair isle patterns.  Millions of ganseys!  Oodles of intricate cables!

But fortune was on my side, and helped me find this fun pattern from an archived Knitter’s magazine.  The sample picture was made in colors similar to this, except they flipped the gold and the brown.  But I really liked the POP of the vertical stripes against the horizontal — and it was absolutely just a TOUCH southwest-y.  Their vertical stripes were a deep turquoise too, so I did something I rarely do — I set out to find the same colors.  Really!  I never do that!  But it was so perfect for what I wanted for her, that I scaled back my usual mismatching craziness and went for it.

Aunt Jane helped me pick out the yarn at The Yarn Lady in Laguna Hills, CA, a great little shop with a fantastic selection.  The yarn is by Berroco, and is called Lustra — great name for it, since it does shimmer just a tiny bit.  It’s a 50% Peruvian wool/50% Tencel blend that is strong when knitted, but caused some frustration because it would tear when I was working with it.  Eventually, I learned not to pull too much on it, and to roll my balls with the bitter end on the outside instead of coming from the inside — that actually helped a lot.  Took the pressure off it, I guess.  The pattern was fun — easy to memorize — but, as always, I got a little putzed out on the sleeves.  They are my frenemies, sleeves are.

So here it is!  A few pictures of the final product, and then of course, the lovely Beth herself modeling the sweater!  I am so glad that she likes it, and hope it will go well with some cozy nights in New Mexico!

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