One of the nice things about Christmas is that I get to generally ignore most of my regular duties in favour of chilling out and relaxing with H. It's wonderful! ;) I only really get to do this for a day or 2 at most, but those two days have given me some major headway on some important projects.
I've managed to get the second full side of my mother's sweater finished. It's blocking right now. The side panels can (and will) be knit two at a time, which will make them work up faster. Well, not technically "faster", since my stitches-per-minute remains fairly constant, but it will seem faster, since I'll be doing them both at the same time.
I know for sure I can get them done by the end of the month with minimal effort. This leaves only the sleeves, which will also be knit two at a time. This will ensure that they are identical and again will make them seem like they are going faster. That plus the collar and front band are all that remain of the sweater. It will certainly be done by Mother's Day. That makes the sweater just over a year in the making, including all the times I ripped back and started completely over again. I should point out that it was two solid months of starting, ripping back, and starting over to create the perfect design.
On top of that, my February deadline projects are working up faster than expected. At my current rate of knitting, I should have both done and photographed not later than January 20th. Maybe 30th. They're almost finished. ;) And the test knitting on them is coming along well, though I am admittedly horrified at the mistakes I made in one of them. Only one of them, mind you. The other one was perfect with the exception of some small technical inconsistencies (the use of capital letters, improper punctuation, and inconsistent notation).
All in all, I'm fairly happy with my progress. I'll be taking my mother's sweater with me to my family Christmas tomorrow. I dare not work on anything else while I am there, since my mother knows of the sweater project and is anxious to receive it. ;)
I am endeavoring to get as much finished between now and January 1 so that I can focus on my new pattern.
That said, it's 2011 in less than a week. Time flies so quickly.