Posted by: jinniver | January 26, 2009

Shrugs, surprises, and sons

My Northern Lights shrug (aka part of New Year’s Plan #3) is finally complete.

Northern Lights Shrug (3)

Northern Lights Shrug (4)

Project: Northern Lights Shrug
Pattern: Improvised
Yarn: Feza Iplik Fiona, color 007, just under 3 balls (726 yds)
Needle size: US 10 1/2

Bet you didn’t know I owned an agree (1) t-shirt, did you? Well, I couldn’t help but agree (1) with this shrug. I really like how it came out. It fits perfectly and is warm without being too heavy. The colors are great…really, there’s nothing I don’t like about it. I wasn’t expecting it to be so long in the back, covering me from neck to waist, but I’m glad it is because I love how it looks. So many long sleeved items are designed to be way too tight around my upper arms, and this fits nice and loose. I can’t wait to show it off at Thursday night’s Sit ‘n Knit at Knotty Girl.

The knitting was incredibly simple. I cast on 76 stitches and then just knit (I figured out my gauge on the 10 1/2 needles, measured around my upper arms, and then decided how wide I wanted the sleeves to figure out how many to cast on). The biggest problem I kept running into was reaching the end of a row with too many or too few stitches, which was just the nature of the yarn. The thin black stitches kept sticking together, and the thick areas sometimes appeared like 2 stitches. But it was a simple matter of adding an extra stitch or doing a K2tog whenever I found a problem. The garter stitch pattern and the yarn itself hid a multitude of sins.


I was surprised when I found the package from Holiday Yarns (formerly Vancalcar Acres Farm) in my mailbox. I opted not to sign up for the 2009 Tsock Club…not because I didn’t like 2008, but because I haven’t yet cast on any of the socks I received over the year. They’re beautiful but a little more intricate than I’m ready for, having not yet knit a full pair of adult socks. So it didn’t make much sense to sign up for another year when there were other yarn clubs I wanted to take advantage of. Of course, Holiday Yarns sells more–and I’ve bought more–than the sock club, but I hadn’t purchased anything else recently.

There were a couple items in the package. First were the last 2 yarns for the Tsuspense project…about which I’ll say no more since not everyone has received their package yet. But there was also an entirely unexpected skein of fingering weight yarn:

Tsock Holiday Yarn Leaves of Grass (1)

Tsock Holiday Yarn Leaves of Grass (2)

Yarn: Holiday Yarn’s FlockSock Sock Yarn
Colorway: Leaves of Grass
Yardage: 400 yds
Fibers: 75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon
Weight: Fingering

I spent some time in happy contemplation of my unexpected bonus before thinking to wonder why I’d gotten it.  Then I remembered a question asked long ago about my favorite colors, and a comment to expect a special surprise after the holidays.  It was definitely a most welcome surprise.  Although green is one of my favorite colors, I don’t have anything in my stash that’s this shade.  The emerald green is a hard color to get that’s not too bright or too primary–this is the shade for me.

There was also another little bonus in the bag:

Tsock Tsoap

Soap!  Specifically, sheep’s milk soap with a nice piney scent–not like the fake, overpowering piney scent that a lot of soaps or candles have, but a nice fresh one.  The whole package smelled good, and I’ve been opening the plastic bag the soap came in every once in a while for a nice sniff.


We’ve started playing UNO with Jeffrey.  The age range on the package says 7+, but at almost 4 years old, Jeffrey knows his colors and numbers and understands matching.  He doesn’t quite understand the rules yet, which leads to the following interchanges:

Steve:  “Jeffrey, you need a card that’s yellow, or 8, or black (the wild cards).  Do you have one?”

Jeffrey:  (proceeds to lay out all of his cards face up on the table while we try not to look but to peek enough to help)  “No, no yellow or 8.”

Me:  “Ok, you need to draw a card.”

Jeffrey:  (draws a card)

Steve:  “Is it yellow or an 8?”

Jeffrey:  “No, it’s blue and a 5!  See?”  (shows us the card)

Despite that, he’s won more than his fair share of games…and no, we’re not throwing the games so he can win.  Steve and I are guilty of trying to screw each other over a little more, but we’re not going easy on him–we’ll throw down that Draw 4 if we have it on him just as quickly as on each other.  He still wins, and loves it when he does…but he takes losing a lot better than we expected, considering his lineage (both his father and I come from long lines of deathly competitive people).

At any rate, it’s been a blast playing.  This is a stage I’ve been looking forward to for almost 4 years–my family is very into games, and I’ve been wanting to play with my children.  Card games are especially important in both families…I’m sure it won’t be long until both grandfathers are trying to teach Jeffrey cribbage.  But for now we’ll stick with this:

Me:  “Jeffrey, how many cards do you have?”

Jeffrey:  (looks at his cards closely)  “One.  Oh!”  (big smile)  “UNO!”



  1. I learned cribbage really young from my grandmother. I still LOVE it.

  2. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptMe: “Ok, you need to draw a card.” Jeffrey: (draws a card). Steve: “Is it yellow or an 8?” Jeffrey: “No, it’s blue and a 5! See?” (shows us the card). Despite that, he’s won more than his fair share of games…and no, we’re not throwing … […]

  3. When we played card games in large family groups it wasn’t unusual for younger players to periodically disappear under the table so they could lay out their cards on their chairs and get a good look. For the slightly older players, someone would fan out their cards facedown, so they could get hold of them all.

    The shrug is gorgeous, as are your goodies!

  4. Interesting. I’ve been wanting to get UNO for my 5 year old. She knows how to play Olsen Olsen (crazy 8s?) and is really good at it but I was hesitant since it said 7+. She still asks if I have a ‘magic 8’ 😉 and doesn’t see the point of concealing her cards.

  5. When I taught a 4 year old friend to play UNO, we had a standing rule for the first several hands that EVERYONE laid their cards out on the table face up. It sometimes helps them to see what other people have in their hands, so they start to understand things like how to make choices and how those choices affect the next person in the round.

    My parents’ kitchen table (the site of most family card games) has drop leaves that turn it from a circular table into a square table. When my brother and I were little, we used to use the seam to hold our cards when our hands got tired!


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