It has been a busy week, with two local graduations. a special 5th birthday, several workdays at three different jobs, and even a FO!
There are two other young girls hidden behind the principal, who is introducing each in this photo.
The next evening (last Wednesday), a scaled-down version of the family celebrated Mason's 5th birthday with dinner together at a local restaurant.... here he is working up the nerve to blow out the candles on his cake.
DD Nikki and her sweetie Tony (Mason's daddy), on either side of Mason, encourage him while his grandpa Mike looks on. Mason and Grandma Teresa (who had to work that night)
made the cake and Mason helped her put on the letters spelling out his full name (an important distinction when you are almost entering kindergarten) and decorations.
Mason had a full-blown kids' celebration yesterday at one of the parks, with Nikki and Tony renting a bounce house, lots of small children running around, and many more family; I had already committed to keeping my friend Susie's shop, Two Rivers in Downieville, open while she attended a wedding.
I was able to knit steadily on my Gaia Shoulder Hug, and get it off the needles Saturday.... but not without some challenges. First, I had to dig through examples on the 'net to get a good idea of what a 'picot bind off', then I had to 'practice' it multiple times before getting it right. Turns out a picot bind off does make a very pretty and stretchy edging, but each stitch takes about six times as long, and uses six times as much yarn! Here's the rub... I was trying to cut it close, and twice had to rip back so gain enough yarn to complete the entire length of the bind off (Steph, I'm cautioning you here - start binding off while you still have a fair-sized ball of yarn to learn from my mistakes!)
Here's a photo of the unblocked version, to tide you over til it is blocked and a 'photoshoot' can take place. I am very pleased with how well the pattern 'hugs' me and how scrummy the yarn feels.
The Schaefer Nichole sock yarn has just the right blend of merino and nylon to maintain a very soft hand, yet give a spring that would be nice and stretchy in socks, but serves a different purpose in this small piece, encouraging it to curl around the shoulders and STAY in place. I can tell I will be getting a lot of use out of my Gaia.
I was so inspired by the simple shawl knitting process that I started right away on Ulmus. I love the process of switching between two pretty and soft yarns, and slipping stitches to add to the color and texture. While I didn't get the chance to knit in public on Saturday, the Fourth Annual Worldwide Knit in Public Day, I did get to sit beside the Yuba River in Downieville for an hour yesterday, knitting happily on my new project to the music of the water rushing by, while others bustled about, enjoying the early summer in the mountains.
So far, Ulmus is growing quickly, but then the rows just keep getting longer, don't they? There is a nice musical rhythm to the pattern, as the river told me yesterday, so I do think this wrap will progress rapidly (sorry, couldn't resist).