I guess I can say there was one benefit (and I can only say this in hindsight) from experiencing (along with so many others) a Christmas Airport Nightmare, thanks to unprecedented storms in the Northwest and concurrent, fun weather here at JFK. That benefit being that I got to bang out a few handknit gifts that weren't in my original plan.
Pattern: 'Montera Hat' by Pam Allen [Ravel it!]
Source: Classic Elite 'Alpaca Stories'
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza in #077 (Just barely one skein, not including swatch)
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm and US 10/6 mm
Started and Finished: 23 December 08
I used up almost all of my leftover yarn from the Girasole - Pastaza is very similar to Montera (the yarn called for by the pattern), and I think it was a good fit. (I also made one in Montera, which you'll see very soon, for comparisons sake). The hat is so sculptural - I love it (surprise surprise, Jared likes knitting lace with big yarn.) And I so love that shade of mustardy yellow; I was glad I had enough to make something else with it, instead of adding to the already-ginormous 'scrap' yarn pyramid.
The pattern is accompanied by a matching triangular shawl and can be found in "Alpaca Stories," one of a few new and wonderful pattern collections put out by CE last fall. They've got a pretty rockin' design team going on over there so look out!
I knit the hat with almost no modifications, other than popping down to a 10 from the suggested 10.5 needle, and reversing the direction of the decreases at the crown (I worked k2tog's when instructed to ssk and ssk's when instructed to k2tog). My reasons for that are completely arbitrary, other than that I liked the look of a more feathered decrease scheme on this particular piece rather than the bolder, relief-like one used in the pattern.
I like this lace repeat because it has yarn overs worked on every row, rather than having a free round of knitting between every patterned round, which makes for a nice open fabric, and a more dynamic look to the size of the yarn overs. But then again, I'm a major lace nerd, so I like these things.
It's back, more or less, to business-as-usual (running around like a chicken with a severed head), and part of me has to admit that I'm glad. I was starting to miss all of my yarn. Even though I may not be using it all... it's nice to know it's right there in the next room. JUST in case.