First, the definition: "The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something." Which describes Christmas gift knitting to a T.
The Fourth Gift was supposed to be the end of it. A do-able series of small knitting projects that would gratify the recipients and give me something to feel productive about. All that accomplishment. All that anticipated praise.
All about me.
For the next gift of Christmas I let myself play. I started with the Seaman's Scarf.
Well, no. Actually, Clare started with the Seaman's Scarf. That started me thinking, though. Why limit myself to knitting for females. Why limit myself to knitting for in-laws? I have plenty of other family members who A) don't have anyone to knit for them and B) for whom I haven't promised a sweater. (What I was really doing was looking for an excuse to knit a Seaman's Scarf.)
I didn't really want to knit it in garter stitch, though. I went to Myrna Stahman, she of Fenna shawl fame. She includes a wide selection of seaman's scarves. None of the patterns there quite did it for me, but she also includes a lovely section on how to modify the scarf. I did not, however, knit the scarf "Stahman style," which is from the middle down, graft the center stitches. After a fair bit of playing around, I ended up with a 5 by 1 rib surrounded by a moss stitch border.
I love it.
Details. Yarn: Madelintosh Worsted in Port. This is lovely stuff. So dark a wine it's almost black. About a skein and a half.
Needles: Addi turbos, US 8/5 mm.
Pattern: My own invention (I'm so proud). Simple, because the closer Christmas looms, the less I can keep in my head. As near as I can remember, I cast on 37 stitches. Starting with the moss/seed stitch border: Slip the first stitch purlwise, [K1, p1] across row to the last 2 stitches, k2, repeat for 8 rows.
Tail 1. Row 1 (RS): Slip first stitch purlwise, knit moss stitch border (k1,p1,k1,p1,k1) place marker, [purl 1, knit 5], repeat across to last 6 stitches, purl 1, place marker, 5 stitch moss stitch border beginning with a k1 and ending with k2.
Row 2 (WS) Slip first stitch purlwise, knit moss stitch border, slip marker, Knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stitches across, slip marker, knit moss stitch border ending with a K2. Repeat these two rows for about 15 - 18 inches (depending on how long you want your scarf.
Switch to ribbing for neck. Row 1(RS): Slip the first stitch purlwise, K4, p4, k4, p4, k3, p4, k4, p4, k5. Row 2 (WS): Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl the purl stitches, knit the knit stitches. (Note that it's not quite 4 by 4 ribbing, two of the 37 stitches are selvage stitches, leaving you with 35 pattern stitches, hence the K/P 3 in the center). Continue for 18 inches.
Tail 2. Resume tail pattern. Knit for 15 to 18 inches (so it matches the first tail). End with 8 rows of moss stitch. Bind off knit-wise.
At least, I think that's how it went. Maybe I'll try it again someday to make sure.