I did it! I did it! I finished the Christmas dress that I set out to make for Rylie on December 5th. It was a breath-holding, heart-pumping, sweaty race to the finish as I was attaching the buttons minutes before we stepped out to attend our Christmas Eve concert downtown. And to let you in on a little secret, I did not finish the neck the way that the pattern was written, in fact I kept the scrap yarn cast on and just went with it (it was red too.) I'm learning that I kind of like these funky details (mistakes, accidents) that are happening in my knitting lately. I like to think it adds charm and an indication of my skill level at this moment in time. But besides the messy bits, I love this dress! I mean, I really really love it. When I began I didn't quite expect to finish, but I thought: What the heck, I should give it a go! I think that is a nice thought for the New Year, too; the notion of starting things that seem too challenging or projects that cause a little friction in my brain. I think that giddy nervousness experienced when your not sure if you can do it or not is a good thing. This dress was born because I was curious to see if I could do it, if I had it in me, because I could not stop thinking WHAT IF. I have a note on my computer desktop that says: Surprise Yourself, and for the first time in a very long time I can tell you that I have done just that. Thank you for indulging this verbose pat on my own back, but I kind of just want to really take it in right now. As someone who historically is a bit hard on myself, a bit too self-critical, I want to kind of enjoy this moment of pleasant surprise in my skill and ability to meet an ambitious deadline. That's not to say that I was not up every night in December until the wee hours, nor that there were not mistakes. Oh, there were plenty, like when I knit half the sleeve on the wrong side, or when I did not order enough yarn -three different times! No kidding, but that is all part of the story, that is the narrative of this particular luscious jeweled pomegranate of a dress. I think this is quite a nice tradition - to knit dear Rylie's Christmas dress each year. It's only December 27th, I have an entire year to get the next one done. I also want to mention that my incredible man of a husband showed me unparalleled supprt in this endeavor. He ran to the yarn salon to get me more yarn when the aforementioned paltry supply ran out. Had he not done this I would not have made it to the finish line and he also wrapped a lot of presents and took one little toddler on many a Christmas errand so mama could focus on the really tricky parts. Oh, and not only is he super supportive and consistently garners very high marks on the awesomeness scale - the man also knows his yarn! I mean he really really does. He bought me a couple of skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage, hand-dyed, worsted weight, 100% merino wool in the most gorgeous of all colors - a glow of gold called Candlewick. It was exactly what I needed to start on this little gnome hat for Rylie. I am trying to get it done in time for our trip to the mountains in a few days - because, as I am finding out, a hard deadline is just what I need to get my motor running.