For my birthday, back in August, Mom gave me The Knitter's Book of Wool. It is a very neat book. It talks about how different sheep create different types of wool, and how various wools are more suited to certain types of projects. (Wonder why Aran sweaters developed where they did? Cause the sheep's wool was perfect for Aran sweaters, thats why!)
The book also had some really nice patterns. Mom particularly liked a certain farrow rib knit in the round cardigan. It was called the Allegin. It was a very pretty sweater, and looked like it was well within my skill set.
Mom's birthday is in December. Christmas is in December. It is always a bit of challenge figuring out what to get her for both, and to properly budget them. Occasionally though I have moments of brilliance. I decided it would be a GREAT idea to knit said sweater for mom for a combination birthday and Christmas present. Mom is a great knitter, but rarely takes the time to knit anything for herself...and I don't know when she last knit a sweater.
With a little help from my dad (who selected the color of the yarn...Knitpicks Shamrock in Kavanagh), I buckled down to knit the sweater. The pattern was extremely well written and easy to follow. I knit the sleeves first, and placed them on waste yarn. Then I knit the body from the bottom up, joined the sleeves, and knit the yoke in one piece. I LOVED that there was no seaming up to do. I hate seaming up.
I actually got the sweater completed and the ends woven in before I got home for Christmas break. I had planned on giving mom as much as was finished for her birthday, since I did not think it at all possible that I would finish it by her birthday. And then I was going to finish the rest before Christmas. Instead, when I gave it to her, all it was missing was the buttons. (I have always found buttons to be a very personal choice. The wrong buttons can completely change the personality and appeal of a sweater.)
Mom was delighted and surprised to get the sweater. Together we went shopping for the pewter buttons. She wore it to the family Christmas gathering at my grandparents, as well as to work.
I think it turned out extremely flattering, and love the way it looks on her. I may just make a version for myself as well.