Stephanie asked how long it took to make mom's shawl. I started around November 1st and worked on it for a few hours, sometimes longer, 5 or 6 days a week. I took about 6 days off from shawl knitting at Thanksgiving. Now, grandma's shawl in DK weight yarn (same pattern, but a lot less chart repeats) took 9 days to complete, it was effortless in comparison. I counted carefully after every RS row to be sure I didn't miss any yarn overs and that slowed my progress, but I did catch all the missing YOs and forgotten PSSOs. Those are the best mistakes to find because they are easily fixed on the way back, no ripping or fuss required.
Sue asked about the laceweight yarn used for mom's shawl. Printed on the label: (treble clef on a music scale) FARE Baruffa, made in Italy by Zegna Baruffa -- 100% extra fine merino wool -- 1350 m, 1460 yds -- 3.5 ounces / 100g -- color #20549. I bought it at Acorn Street in Seattle and I believe it was $14.00 for the hank (they also sell the pattern). Really lovely stuff, it feels so delicate but it didn't break once.
I ripped out the black "mistake rib" scarf, mainly because it was really too short (2 skeins would have been perfect), and knit the yarn back up into a warm hat with a stripe of orange for Dad. No time to snap a photo but it's a basic black stockinette hat with an orange stripe and a turned-up K2P2 cuff, you're not missing out on a masterpiece.
Everything is packed for the trek to Oregon. If you could peek in my knitting bag you'd spy 2 partial skeins of Lamb's Pride worsted (dark blue and dark green) which will likely turn out to be a hat for Bob, my younger brother. It doesn't have to be mailed until January so technically I didn't miss the xmas deadline. There's some sock yarn as well, my fingers are itching to make another pair of socks. That will be enough to keep me busy for the next 5 days.
If you celebrate Christmas then I hope it's a good one for you and your loved ones. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to see my brothers, it doesn't feel like Christmas without them. I live close to my parents so luckily I've never had to miss a Christmas with them but I sure wish my brothers could make it out every year too. :\ Anyway, I'm off to spend time with extended family (and answer awkward questions posed by relatives I see maybe once a year, that's always a blast) and expect to return 12/27.